12/27 WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW RESULTS: Keller’s report on Miz & Maryse renew vows, Mysterios vs. Street Profits, Orton vs. Otis, Priest vs. Ziggler, Day 1 hype amidst COVID outbreak

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


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

KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
DECEMBER 27, 2021
DETROIT, MICH.
AIRED ON USA NETWORK

Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves


OPENING WORDS…

With the COVID outbreak among WWE wrestlers (and other personnel), this episode could see some contingency plans become apparent if they fear some key wrestlers won’t be cleared by this Saturday’s PPV.

The advertised match-ups don’t include wrestlers who so far have been pulled from any WWE live events, indicative of COVID-related concerns.

  • Damian Priest vs. Dolph Ziggler for the U.S. Title
  • Rey & Dominik Mysterio vs. The Street Profits to earn a Raw Tag Team Title shot
  • Randy Orton vs. Otis
  • Miz & Maryze renew their wedding vows

Seth Rollins has announced he has tested positive for COVID. Big E was pulled from the MSG house show. Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair were not on the MSG house show. None of them is announced for tonight’s episode, which could make promoting Day 1’s key matches difficult. In this era where WWE isn’t trying to convince fans to spend $50 on an event, the pressure is lessened as everyone can watch on Peacock’s streaming service without an additional fee.


SPECIAL NOTE – NEW VOLUNTEER CONTRIBUTORS WANTED

We are looking to add and fill some volunteer contributors slots (TV Reports, Hits & Misses, etc.) here at PWTorch.com heading into the new year. If you’ve got solid writing and typing skills and a desire to join our team, drop me a note: kellerwade@gmail.com


[HOUR ONE]

-After the WWE Together jingle, they went right to a wide shot of the arena and then close-ups of fans cheering.

-Randy Orton and Riddle came out to the RK-Bro remix theme. Riddle had his scooter. They went to the announcers on camera (so all three made it through the week without having to skip Raw due to COVID-related issues). Graves hyped the Miz and Maryse wedding vows renewal segment later. They hyped the other scheduled matches.

Riddle told the audience that if they loved what they did in 2021, they’re going to love what they do in 2022. Riddle asked Orton to close his eyes and look into the future. Orton told him to stop. He said the only way he’s going to have a happy new year is if he beats Otis tonight, and the only way to have a happy new year is retaining their Raw Tag Team Titles at Day 1 on Saturday night. Riddle said he had last week off and he did some self-reflection and looked at himself from the outside. “I noticed my skin was turning green and I was growing scales,” he said. Orton said he needs to see a doctor. Orton asked the production truck to play what happened last week. Riddle asked, “What’s a production truck?”

A clip aired of Otis blocking the RKO three times last week. Riddle asked how he got a video to play on the screen like that. He said it was like magic. He said Otis might be un-RKO-able. “The dude doesn’t even have a neck,” Riddle said. He told Orton to imagine how many burritos he eats and what kind he eats. He said it reminded him of the time they went out for burgers and Orton told him he is his best friend. Orton said they all know Otis is a powerhouse. Orton was interrupted by Otis and Chad Gable’s music.

Gable asked Orton how a nitwit like him got so far ahead of the curve. He said he loves to see it. He said he taught Orton a lesson last week, which is there is no more dangerous man or greater threat in WWE than his protege and prized pupil and no. 1 guy Otis. “I taught him everything he knows!” he said. “Look at that face!” He kissed Otis on the cheek. Otis didn’t flinch. He said he recently got his master’s degree “with an immaculate 4.0 GPA.” Gable took issue with the crowd “booing education.” He said he is a little advanced “for a town like this.” He asked if the mindless morons of Detroit can comprehend that Orton is no match for Otis. He said it’s only a matter of time before they have the Raw Tag Team Titles.

Riddle told Gable he seems like a pretty smart guy, but he considers himself “a man of higher education.” Riddle asked what Alpha Academy even means. He said he knows he has a bunch of knowledge in his head and he’d like to take on Gable tonight. Gable said, “You are what I like to call an ignoramus.” He said there’s something wrong with him if he is really challenging an Olympian just five days before defending his tag titles against them. He accepted. Riddle told him to bring his brilliant brain into the ring so he can introduce it to RK-Bro.

Smith said they weren’t expecting it, but they’re going to get Riddle vs. Gable next. [c]

(1) CHAD GABLE (w/Otis) vs. RIDDLE (w/Randy Orton)

Graves said Riddle is an incredible athlete, but he would only go to him for advice on using an apple or tin foil (more marijuana references). The corner of the screen advertised Reggie & Dana Brooke vs. R-Truth & Tamina. Gable scored a near fall after a Tiger suplex. He went for a top rope moonsault next, but Riddle caught him with his legs. Gable countered into an anklelock. Riddle flipped over and sent Gable into the corner. Riddle countered a Gable back suplex into a high knee and then a Flying Bro for the win. As Riddle began celebrating his win, Otis charged into the ring and knocked him down. Smith said Otis vs. Riddle is next.

WINNER: Riddle in 4:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Good action for the short time it lasted.)

(2) OTIS vs. RANDY ORTON

Orton went for an early RKO seconds into the match, but Otis brushed it off once again. Otis splashed Orton next. Otis went for a slam, but Orton slipped out and went for another RKO. Otis blocked it and shoved Orton out of the ring. When Otis charged, Orton moved, so Otis crashed into the ringside steps. Orton delivered a draping DDT. Orton played to the crowd and signaled for an RKO. He went for it again, but Otis blocked it and then powerslammed Orton. Otis went for a corner swing splash, but Orton moved. Orton then hit the RKO for the win.

WINNER: Orton in 4:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: There never shame in losing clean to Orton, but it the goal is for Otis to mean something, losing in four minutes clean defines him down to basically Gable’s level, which hurts their credibility as a championship-level tag team.)

-Afterward, Riddle stood over Orton and said he’s so proud of him. Riddle said now it’s time for Orton’s present. He revealed it’s a big, big hug. Fans chanted “Randy! Randy!” Riddle said it’s just between them, no one else will know. “I won’t tell a soul, dude,” he said. They hugged. Orton seemed to like it. He teased an RKO on Riddle, then shared a big smile.

-Graves said love is in the air tonight. He pivoted to plugging the Miz and Maryse segment later.

-Kevin Patrick stood backstage with Kevin Owens. Saxton said they’d hear from them next. [c]

-A “Superstar Fact” graphic touted Seth Rollins’ accomplishments.

-A video package aired on last week’s Raw main event ending with Seth and KO smashing and stomping Bobby Lashley and Big E.

-Patrick interviewed Owens, who seemed distressed. Patrick said they just received a video message from Big E. They played it. Big E said he will defend his title at Day 1 against Seth, Lashley, and Owens. He was in a room with white walls and nothing on the walls. He cut a one minute promo vowing to retain his title at Day 1. (This revealed to the live audience he wasn’t in the arena in person tonight.) Back to KO, he was resting his head in frustration on Patrick’s shoulder. He said he heard Big E just say it’s all about showing up for work every week, but he’s there and Big E is at home. “I show up every week!” he said. He then asked Kevin Patrick if his name is Kevin, then he told him he doesn’t like it, and he should change it by next week. KO said his plan is what counts, and he’s walking out of Day 1 as champion. He then told Kevin his new name is Burt.

-The announcers hyped the Day 1 Fatal-Four Way match for the WWE Title.

(Keller’s Analysis: WWE is certainly acting confident everyone will be cleared of COVID protocol by Saturday night.)

-Dana Brooke and Reggie danced to the ring. Dana wore her 24/7 Title belt proudly to the ring, then flexed her biceps. [c]

-A vignette aired with Veer who talked about the lion being the king of the jungle. They showed rapid-fire clips of him hitting power moves. He said sometimes a lion kills prey for food, but other times it’s just for fun.

(3) R-TRUTH & TAMINA vs. DANA BROOKE & REGGIE

Brooke and Reggie were dancing in the ring after the break. Truth sang his theme song on the way to the ring. Then Tamina came out. (This is a weird mix of wrestlers facing each other.) Truth wanted to start the match. Tamina wasn’t happy, but agreed. Truth turned a handshake into a side headlock at the start. Graves complained that Reggie looked like Ronald McDonald. Reggie did some kip ups and flying moves. Tamina tagged in and superkicked Reggie. Graves asked, “Would you like fries with that, Reggie?” Dana tagged in and went after Tamina with kicks. She then did a cartwheel and a dropkick followed by a cartwheel splash. Truth tagged himself in as Tamina had Dana down. She took exception to that. Truth went after Dana, but she somersaulted over to tag in Reggie. Reggie then sunset bombed Truth for the three count. Graves said he’s never seen that move delivered with such impact.

WINNER: Reggie & Brooke in 3:00.

-Afterward, Tamina glared at Truth. Truth defended himself. Tamina took a swing. Truth ducked and rolled out of the ring. Brooke gave Tamina a handspring elbow in the corner and then retreated up the ramp with Reggie.

-Megan Morant interviewed Nikki A.S.H. backstage. She asked whether WWE management made the right decision barring her from ringside last week. Nikki said Ripley was victorious without her help. She said Rhea doesn’t need her help. She said she hopes she inspires Ripley, even if she’s been down on her luck lately. She said she’d like to see the current tag champs put their money where their mouth is. She challenged them to a rematch, then did some superhero gestures.

-The Street Profits made their ring entrance. [c]

-Graves plugged a special appearance by Migos at Day 1.

-The Smackdown recap aired.

[HOUR TWO]

(4) THE STREET PROFITS (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) vs. REY & DOMINIK MYSTERIO – Tournament Finals to earn a Raw Tag Team Title match

Ford is nearly unrecognizable with new facial hair and hairstyle. It’s a more serious look. They showed Riddle and Orton watching on a monitor backstage. Ford put Rey in an armbar, then flickered his tongue at him. (Him new look seeming more serious was offset by that.) Rey head scissored Ford out of the ring, then knocked Dawkins off the ring apron. Rey and Dominik then dove onto them at ringside. They cut to a break. [c]

Ford was in control of Dominik after the break. The showed Orton and Riddle were still watching, trading notes. Graves said it’s been back and forth the whole way, with no team having sustained momentum. At 12:00, chaos broke out. Ford landed a top rope frog splash two-thirds of the way across the ring on Rey. Dominik broke up the cover. Rey hit a 619 on Ford, then leaped off the ring apron with a head scissors on Dawkins on the floor. Dominik then caught Ford with a top rope frog splash for a near fall. Rey shouted encouragement to Dominik from ringside. As Rey and Dominik went for a stereo 619, Dawkins tripped Rey, but Dominik hit Ford with a 619. It was his usual sl0-mo 619. Ford went for an enzuigiri. Dominik ducked and hit a superkick. Dawkins entered and put Dominik on his shoulders. Ford then hit a Blockbuster for the win. They showed Orton and Riddle watching the Profits celebrate in the ring.

WINNERS: The Street Profits in 13:00 to earn a Raw Tag Team Title match against RK-Bro at Day 1.

-A lengthy video package aired on the drama between A.J. Styles and Omos.

-Styles made his ring entrance alone. Saxton said he can’t imagine the emotions being felt by Styles right now.

-An ad aired for Smackdown this Friday featuring the Top Ten Moments of 2021 on FS1. [c]

-They showed the Top Ten WWE Instagram photos of the year.

-Backstage Miz was upset with the roses he was given to bring to the wedding. He asked the guy if he has any idea how serious tonight is. He said he called in big favors including Eric Bischoff to help with the renewal of the vows. Bischoff walked up to Miz and thanked him for the invite. He said tonight is going to be must-see TV. Miz was happy and smiling, but then snapped and yelled, “Where are my roses?!”

-Graves was very happy that Bischoff is going to be part of the wedding vow renewal ceremony,

-Styles was in the ring as his music played. Styles said he’s there, and he wanted to know where Omos was. He said maybe he is scared he won’t live up to his full potential. He said early in his career, he was scared too. “But I was never selfish and unappreciative.” He said you have to pay your dues to get to the top, and his dues will be paid to him. He said the next time he sees him in the ring – “all 400  pounds, 7-foot-4 of you, I’m going to kick your teeth in.” He said he has 20-plus years of experience on him. He said he’s seen giants come and go, but there’s only been one “Phenomenal One.” Grayson Waller was standing in the front row with a sign that said, “The Grayson Waller Effect is Phenomenal.” Styles said he’s another not-quite-a-Superstar NXT wrestler. He invited Waller into the ring. Waller wore white pants, red shoes, and a pink shirt with blue splotches. He wore sunglasses. Styles introduced him to the audience.

Grayson said since Styles visited him last week on NXT, he wanted to visit him on Raw. Styles said Waller isn’t interested in paying his dues. Waller said Styles is begging him to get in the ring with him already. He said this feels great being on Raw on Monday. He said he plans to take his spot. Styles said this is where stars are made, “and you’re not a star.” Styles said he’s not even close to being a star. Styles said he could give him a Phenomenal Forearm and introduce him to the bright lights on his way out. Apollo Crews and Commander Azeez then walked out. Smith said this is a surprise to everyone.

Crews told Styles he and Omos are very similar to him and Azeez, except his giant has now left him and they are a united front. He told Styles that while his giant isn’t there, his giant is. Azeez said if he’s into slaying giants, how about he fight him right now. Styles accepted the challenge. Graves said he knows Styles has a lot on his mind, but this is nuts. Saxton agreed it’s ill-advised.

(Keller’s Analysis: This show does feel constructed under duress with so many wrestlers unavailable. I was anticipating Styles making it more clear to everyone that he’s the sympathetic figure in the break-up with Omos, and it still wasn’t clear. The fact that he is playing off of Waller, who is clearly unlikable, and then Crews and Azeez, who are established as heels, is more compelling a reason to cheer Styles than his demeanor or words.) [c]

-Morant interviewed Carmella backstage. She asked about Nikki asking Carmella & Queen Zelina for a rematch. Carmella said they have taken it under consideration and they accept. She said there is a hierarchy around there and they will happily put them back in their place with a championship match. She said in a tag team match, Nikki will eventually have to get tagged in, so they know how that will end. She said she almost feels bad for Rhea Ripley, but it was Ripley’s choice to team with Nikki. She said Nikki is almost a good tag team partner and almost good enough, but almost doesn’t count. She said they are definitely going to remain WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions.

(5) A.J. STYLES vs. APOLLO CREWS (w/Commander Azeez)

Smith said Crews said during the break, he wanted in on the match and was giving Azeez the night off. (Okay, that was strange.) Crews yanked off Styles off the ring apron and then pressed him and dropped him over the ring apron. Crews then kneed him in the head and pounded his own chest as they cut to an early break. [c]

Back from the break, Crews had Styles grounded. Styles made a comeback and signaled for Styles Clash. Crews powered out and then landed a sitout powerbomb for a near fall. Styles came back with a moonsault into an inverted DDT out of the corner. Styles then set up a Phenomenal Forearm, but Azeez pulled Crews out of the ring. Styles charged at Crews on the ring apron, but Crews slammed Styles on the edge of the ring apron and scored a near fall. Then let out a frustrated yell. Styles avoided a bad landing on a botched move when Crews had him up for back suplex and Styles was intending to head scissors him but Crews had something else in mind. Graves gasped. Styles turned it into a cover for a two count. Styles then gave Crews a Styles Clash for the win.

Azeez entered the ring to check on Crews. Styles landed a Phenomenal Forearm to Azeez. The announcers marveled and said it shows Styles could hit that same move on Omos.

WINNER: Styles in 10:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Nice match, although the final minute felt a little choppy)

-A selfie video message aired with Seth Rollins from home in response to Owens earlier. He said at Day 1 he will take what is rightfully his because even from afar, he is a visionary and revolutionary.

-Owens made his way to the ring to his music. [c]

-Graves excitedly hyped the segment later where Miz and Maryse renew their vows.

-Owens stood in the ring as his music faded. The announcers went into hyping the Day 1 line-up. KO said he had a festive weekend with his family capped off with a main event match at MSG that he said he won. He told people not to look it up, take his word for it. He said he will start 2022 with a WWE Title victory. He said he is tougher than Big E, smarter than Seth, and stronger than Lashley.


SPECIAL NOTE – NEW VOLUNTEER CONTRIBUTORS WANTED

We are looking to add and fill some volunteer contributors slots (TV Reports, Hits & Misses, etc.) here at PWTorch.com heading into the new year. If you’ve got solid writing and typing skills and a desire to join our team, drop me a note: kellerwade@gmail.com


[HOUR THREE]

Owens continued by saying he’d give WWE a champion the people can be proud of. MVP interrupted from the stage. He said Lashley hasn’t forgotten what he did to him. MVP read a statement from his phone, extending his arm like a 50ish year old who doesn’t have his reading glasses on. Lashley vowed to rip the wet noodle arms off his ectomorphic body. KO said there’s no way Lashley wrote that. MVP and KO went back and forth. KO said his mother tells him he is special. Out walked out Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander. MVP asked what they were doing out there. Cedric said one man can’t beat three, so KO is right about that. Cedric said Lashley was at his best when they were rolling with them in the Hurt Business. MVP said Lashley doesn’t need anyone, including himself. MVP said he’d give him an opportunity, though. KO interrupted and said he can see where this is going. KO explained that Cedric thinks if he can beat KO, Lashley will bring them back to Hurt Business. MVP said on that, he and KO agree. Cedric headed to the ring with MVP for a match with KO. [c]

(6) KEVIN OWENS vs. CEDRIC ALEXANDER

MVP joined in on commentary. The crowd didn’t seem to know how to react to these two battling. MVP said Lashley will beat all three opponents on Saturday, and nothing will stop him from remaining champion. KO won clean with a stunner.

WINNER: Owens in 3:00.

-Shelton entered afterward and challenged KO. He turned and said, “Give me a god damned microphone.” The mic picked up that clearly. KO then caught him with a stunner.

-They shifted to a recap of the back story with Damian Priest and Dolph Ziggler.

-Ziggler made his ring entrance. [c]

-Mike Rome threw to “the Titan Tron” for a video package on Liv Morgan and Becky Lynch.

-A soundbite aired with Damian Priest who talked about his darkness. He said he usually tries to keep it under control, but it showed itself last week. He said the fact is, when he’s disrespected, the blind rage will take control and there’s nothing he can do about it. He said if Ziggler makes the wrong decision, he’ll come face to face with Damian, using his first name in the third person.

-Saxton said Ziggler has to be shaken by what Priest said. Priest then strutted out with the U.S. Title belt around his waist. [c]

(7) DAMIAN PRIEST vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER – U.S. Title match

Priest dominated for two minutes and then tossed Ziggler into the time keeper’s area onto some chairs. They cut to a break. [c]

Priest avoided a corner dive by Ziggler after the break. Ziggler landed a Fameasser for a two count seconds later, though. Priest made a comeback and landed a Broken Arrow for a near fall. Ziggler rolled up Priest for a surprise near fall. Ziggler grabbed Priest by his chin, trash-talked him, and slapped him. Damian snapped and went after Ziggler with “blind rage.” He didn’t break before the count of five in the corner, so the ref called for the DQ. Priest continued the attack after the bell, including a Reckoning on the ringside mat.

WINNER: Ziggler via DQ in 7:00.

-A video package aired on the Miz and Maryse saga the last two weeks.

-Eric Bischoff made his ring entrance. Bischoff patted his heart and pointed at people in the crowd with a thumbs up and a smile, his usual routine. Graves told people to get their tissues because this is going to be beautiful. [c]

-Bischoff stood in the ring and said it’s truly amazing to be back in a WWE ring. (Who had Bischoff as the guy who’d be welcome on both AEW and WWE TV shows in 2021.) He introduced Miz first. Miz made his entrance. Miz stumbled and nearly tripped walking up the steps. Bischoff laughed. Miz played it up and laughed before taking a deep breath. Then Bischoff introduced Maryse, who came out to “Here Comes the Bride.” Miz gave Maryse a peck on the lips. Saxton asked Graves if he’s actually crying already. Miz said this is the last Raw of 2021, and what a better way to commemorate the year than this. He said they have embarrassed one of the most decorated stars in WWE history, Edge. He said he will prove on Saturday that old Edge is gone and new Edge can’t live up to the standards he now sets. He predicted he would dominate. He said he wanted to cap off the year with something uplifting – their wedding vow renewal. (Is this like a COVID booster shot?)

Miz said they are in “disgusting, decrepit Detroit, but it’s not where you are, it’s who you’re with.” Miz thanked Bischoff. He called him a legend and a true visionary. Bischoff said it means a lot they invited him to share this cherished moment with them. Bischoff told Maryse she has the honor of reciting her vows first.

Maryse said she knew when she met Miz 15 years ago that he was the love of her life and she loves him so much. Boos rang out. She said he is the best father and best husband and a way better Superstar than Edge. She said if loving him is wrong, she never wants to be right. She asked if he will continue to be her husband. She began crying. Miz asked the crowd, “Should I?” He then said their opinion doesn’t matter because they choose to live in Detroit and cheer for the Lions.

Miz then talked about how Maryse didn’t speak a word of English when they met in 2006, so he’d read his vows in French. She corrected his pronunciations. Miz then actually said something Spanish, which she pointed out. She said it’s cute, but he can speak English. He said when they make love, it’s like fireworks. He said if she’ll continue to be by his side, he’ll continue to love her in return. He asked if she’ll continue to be his wife. He did the, “When my hand goes up, your mouth goes shut!” Then Maryse exclaimed, “Yes, I will!”

Bischoff said that was so beautiful. He asked if anyone has objections, speak up now. He said they know how this will turn out. Edge then came out to his music. Edge stepped into the ring and told Miz, “Don’t fall.” He waved at Eric. He said he isn’t there to ruin anything. He said he won’t talk about how he threw up in his mouth back there listening to them, or what kind of man Miz is using his wife as a shield and a decoy. He said he’ll beat Miz’s ass at Day 1. Miz said they knew he’d come out there, so they wanted to show him what true love looks like. They smooched. Edge told them to get a room.

Edge said for the last few weeks, Miz and Maryse did embarrass him. He said he saw it coming, but he still slipped through the cracks. He said what goes around, comes around. He said before Day 1, he’s going to embarrass him. Edge looked around. Miz looked around worried. Edge said he’s just playing mind games. Then he asked if he wanted it to be a white wedding. The lights went red and then dark red slime (blood?) dropped from above onto them.

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