1/17 WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW RESULTS: Keller’s report on Lashley’s response to Lesnar’s jokes, Rollins vs. Lashley, Lynch & Doudrop vs. Belair & Morgan

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


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KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
JANUARY 17, 2022
TULSA, OKLA. AT BOK CENTER
AIRED ON USA NETWORK

Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves


Tonight after the show, join Wade Keller live with guest co-host Cameron Hawkins from the PWTorch East Coast Cast to break down the show with live callers and emails.

STREAM LIVE HERE ABOUT 5 MINUTES AFTER THE SHOW CONCLUDES
•CALL: (347) 215-8558

•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com
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[HOUR ONE]

-Jimmy Smith introduced the show as they went right to a wide shot of the crowd. No Martin Luther King Jr. video tribute to open the show this year.

-Becky Lynch made her ring entrance. They replayed a brief clip of Doudrop pinning Liv Morgan last week to earn a Raw Title match against Lynch at the Rumble. Some fans chanted “Becky! Becky!” She said the Raw Women’s Division has never been hotter, and she’s the one person responsible for that. She said it’s so hot, they have stars from past generations coming back. She mentioned Lita, Mickie James, and the Bella Twins. Lita got the best reaction, James the weakest. She talked about the opportunity she’s giving Doudrop. She said she makes people better, then she beats them. She called her “Doo Doo.” She said Doudrop will never be champion as a long as she runs this industry. Doudrop then marched out to the ring.

Smith said Doudrop is an X-Factor because Becky hasn’t faced her in the ring, much less defeated her. Doudrop said she got herself the title match at the Rumble, so Becky didn’t give her anything. She told Becky to stay well out of her way tonight. Becky said she got her the victory last week and she’ll help her be on the winning side this week. Doudrop said if Becky wanted to faceher, it’s a big mistake she’ll regret. Bianca Belair skipped out to her music.

Belair said the only reason Doudrop is facing her at the Rumble is because Becky was scared of facing her. Belair said she is officially entering the Rumble match. She said she’ll throw 29 other women over the top rope so she can go main event WrestleMania again. Doudrop rolled her eyes in the background. She said she’ll choose whatever champion she wants, and it could be one of them. Liv Morgan’s music played.

Morgan walked out and told Belair that they may be teaming tonight, but she’s also entering herself in the Rumble. She said she plans to win it. As she kept talking, Doudrop made a snoring noise and said the ref should get the match started. They got into a scuffle. The ref quickly steppe between them as they cut to a break.

(Keller’s Analysis: Standard formula segment with women marching out, one after another, and getting a few lines in. Becky still comes across as a big star in charge of the division. Doudrop got to show the most personality and attitude to date. Fans are likely to side with Becky strongly against Doudrop in that match. Doudrop wasn’t going for any cheers there.)  [c]

-Backstage, Chad Gable and Otis were wearing graduation outfits. Smith said they’ll celebrate becoming Raw Tag Team Champions in an Alpha Academy Graduation Ceremony later.

(1) BECKY LYNCH & DOUDROP vs. BIANCA BELAIR & LIV MORGAN

Doudrop and Belair started. Becky tagged herself in when Doudrop was running the ropes to splash Belair. Becky told her she’ll lead them to victory so do whatshe says. Belair dropkicked Becky and then tagged in Morgan. Saxton said Morgan’s matches against Becky have boosted her confidence, which could work in her favor at the Rumble. She scored a two count on Becky, broken up by Doudrop. Belair tried but couldn’t lift Doudrop. Morgan and Becky battled next. Becky landed a Manhandle Slam, with the cover broken up by Doudrop. She splashed both Becky and Morgan, then pulled Becky aside and covered Morgan. Doudrop wasn’t legal, so she left the ring and tagged Becky, then splashed Morgan and scored the three count. After the match, Doudrop landed a corner sit-splash on Becky’s chest like Yokozuna did decades ago.

WINNER: Doudrop & Lynch in 2:30.

-Backstage Reggie, standing next to Dana Brooke, asked Edge and Beth Phoenix for advice. Edge said he does things he’s never seen done before. Reggie asked if he’d have his back tonight. Edge said no way, and Beth hit Edge to indicate she didn’t approve. Phoenix told Brooke she’s been impressed by her and is so happy she’s wearing gold. Brooke said that means the world to her, then she ran to catch up with Reggie. Damian Priest then approached Edge and Beth. He hugged them both. Edge said he likes what he’s seen with him lately. Priest said he wanted to pick his brain about the Rumble. Edge said cardio comes into play, but “keep doing you.” (That’s so 2019.) Phoenix had a note from Maryse who said she wanted to meet her in the ring. Phoenix said it sounds suspicious. Edge said there’s no way that’s happening. When Edge and Beth left, Priest looked at Edge and said, “The man.” Kevin Owens then walked up to Priest and said he’s looking forward to their match later. He said it’ll be a good, clean match where they can show their more technical side. He stammered as he told Priest that his vicious side shouldn’t come out. He said he has an announcement to make, so he’ll see him later, “but good talk.”

(Keller’s Analysis: A lot goes on backstage in the hallways at Raw. Dana continues to be so proud of begin 24/7 Champion, it’s hard not to patronize her with praise for her accomplishment. The Edge-Priest interaction isn’t for nothing, so maybe the first sign of who Edge will be facing at WrestleMania after something happens between them at the Rumble?) [c]

-Kevin Owens introduced “a man I call my best friend,” Seth Rollins. He predicted he will be Universal Champion after the Royal Rumble. Seth made his entrance as Graves said that wonderful intro was befitting of the Revolutionary. Saxton said he expects this to be a mutual admiration society with them. When Seth arrived in the ring, KO said he admires him so much. He complimented his great outfits. He said he also admires his courage. Seth said he’s going to win the Universal Title at the Rumble and bring it to Raw. KO said he has a huge announcement too. He said he is officially declaring himself as a participant in this year’s Rumble. He said he will win the Rumble, and since Seth will be the new Universal Champion, they can give them the biggest WrestleMania main event of all-time. Seth said he likes where his head is at. He was interrupted by Damian Priest’s music. (I still think the Road Warriors are coming out since those are the opening notes of their “Iron Man” entrance theme.) Seth told Priest not to take another step to the ring or KO will destroy him. KO took exception with Seth saying that.

Priest said no one believes Seth can beat Reigns and everyone thinks KO is a liar and he’s not winning the Rumble. He suggested to KO that if he doesn’t want to see the Damian in him, he shouldn’t wake him up. He said he was just informed their match takes place right now. As Priest struttedto the ring, they cut to a break.

(Keller’s Analysis: With Brock Lesnar winning the WWE Title, but primarily feuding with Roman Reigns, it would make sense for Seth to win the Universal Title – perhaps due to interference from Lesnar or Paul Heyman – leading to Seth landing on Raw and Lesnar moving to Smackdown. Reigns will already have set the record for the longest Universal Title reign, so they might be more willing to move the title to someone else.) [c]

(2) DAMIAN PRIEST vs. KEVIN OWENS – Championship Contender’s match

KO applied an early head vice. When Priest broke free, KO chopped him in the chest. Priest got intense. KO said it’s a clean match. Priest took KO down with a leaping spin wheel kick. KO bailed out to the floor to catch his breath. Priest leaped off the ringside steps and KO caught him with a superkick to the chest. KO then landed a frog splash on Priest off the ring apron. They cut to a brek as KO Priest back into the ring. [c]

Smith said this is “a challenger’s match” as KO is fighting for a chance at the title. Priest landed a Broken Arrow for a near fall. KO knocked Priest off the ropes and landed a flip senton off the top rope for a near fall. KO landed a sitout powerbomb for a near fall next. Owens waited for Priest to stand, but Priest blocked his Stunner attempt and landed a chokeslam for a two count. Smith called it a “desperation kickout.” (How is that different from a standard kickout?) KO dropped to the mat as if his he blew his knee out. The ref called for a trainer. Priest approached him. KO kicked him and gave him a Stunner for the win. Saxton called Owens “a liar to the end.”

WINNER: Owens in 5:00 to earn a U.S. Title match.

(Keller’s Analysis: The fake knee injury was obvious to everyone watching, so it made Priest look bad he wasn’t more on guard. This is another all-too-typical instance of a challenger beating a champion in a non-title match.)

-They replayed Otis & Gable beating RK-Bro for the Raw Tag Team Titles last week.

-Otis & Gable made their ring entrance to the entrance theme Randy Savage used. [c]

-Graves hyped a career retrospective on Lesnar and Lashley later on Raw. Saxton hyped Seth vs. Lashley later. (Will Lashley get protected more than Big E did?)

-A video package aired on Rhea Ripley breaking up with Nikkki A.S.H. last week.

-Sarah Schreiber interviewed Nikki backstage about facing Ripley tonight. Nikki said she’ll stand on her own now. She said Ripley should be mortified she isn’t the friend she claimed she was. Schreiber told Nikki she brutally attacked Ripley. Nikki interrupted and said she broke up with her and she is the villain in this. She said she is the People’s Hero, “and sometimes heroes have to do things that regular people don’t understand, and after tonight Rhea will realize she needs a super hero, whether she likes it or not.” She raised her arm and walked away.

-Otis and Gable stood at a podium mid-ring. Gable excitedly introduced the segment. He said he is an Olympian with a master’s degree with a 4.0 GPA. Fans booed. Gable told them it’s gross that they boo education. He said they likely never graduates high school. He said tonight is about celebrating not just an institution, but an individual.

[HOUR TWO]

Gable said his list of achievements is long. He said it suggestively as he spread his hands apart from six inches to 18 inches. He said Otis is his prized pupil and protege. He said he’s so proud of him. He said he passed his final exam last week and claimed their place as the Raw Tag Team Champions. Fans chanted “RK-Bro,” whih irritated Gable. He said tonight, it’s his esteemed honor and great pleasure to present Otis with his diploma from the Alpha Academy. Graves said it’s such a feel-good moment. Otis said now that he has achieved his potential, there is no stopping them. Riddle’s music interrupted.

Riddle walked out in a blue graduation gown and hat. “What’s up, bros?” he asked. He said when he got invited to the ceremony, he knew he had to make a special speech. He read a statement he said he wrote at the breakfast buffet. He said it felt like just last week he and Randy were the Raw Tag Team Champions. As Riddle talked, Gable asked what he’s babbling about. He said he wasn’t invited to their ceremony. He told him to be on his way. Riddle said he wanted to say how proud he is of them. Gable asked if he’s there for a rematch, but he’s not sure Riddle can defend “rematch.” Riddle said, “It’s like when you have to light something up twice… like a candle!” He said a rematch sounds like a pretty sick idea. Gable asked where Randy Orton was. Otis said he has to show his mental aptitude in an Alpha Academy Academic Challenge. He said he and Randy have to engage in a series of tests to see who is mentally superior. Riddle asked if it’s like Billy Madison or “Wheel of Fortune.” Riddle said Otis looks like a “jack hamster with triple the brain power.” Otis was upset and leaped to the floor. Orton then entered the ring and gave Gable an RKO. When Otis began to enter the ring, Riddle charged into him. Riddle then presented Orton with the red graduation robe and hat that Gable was wearing. Orton then said, “We accept!” Orton’s music played.

(Keller’s Analysis: I am looking forward to their mental aptitude test. I hope they do a good job with it, as there’s some potential for fun as Gable and Otis get foiled or frustrated. Gable, like Sami Zayn, can turn any segment into something a level more entertaining than the concept or script themselves.)

-A clip aired Finn Balor pinning Austin Theory last week.

-Austin Theory knocked and entered Vince McMahon’s office. Theory said he might have lost to Balor, but he beat him up so badly afterward, it’s almost like a half-victory. McMahon said if Theory doesn’t beat Balor next, he’ll beat him up. He said he’ll have him dragged to his office and pull out an equalizer and break every small bone in his body and then shift to his face. He said there will be nothing left of him but blood, snot, and broken teeth. He said he’ll then take a selfie and send it to his mom. Theory leaned back in his chair, appalled and shaken up.

-As Balor made his entrance, Smith said McMahon is “a brilliant motivator.” [c]

-A video tribute aired on Martin Luther King Jr.

(3) AUSTIN THEORY vs. FINN BALOR

Theory knocked Balor down and and then followed him to ringside and slammed his head into the ring apron. Balor reverse-whipped Theory into the ringside barricade. They cut to an early break. [c]

Back from the break, Balor was in control. Balor landed a sling blade. Theory made a comeback and dropped Balor over the top rope. Balor blocked an ATL and rolled up Theory for a near fall. Balor then went for a Coup de Gras, but Theory moved. He then hit the ATL for the win. Smith said Mr. McMahon knows how to motivate someone. Theory took a selfie afterward of him and Balor on the mat.

WINNER: Theory in 6:00.

-Afterward, Theory attacked Balor. He delivered another ATL.

(Keller’s Analysis: A significant clean win for Theory. Significant for his push, but also significant in that he won’t be brutally maimed by Mr. McMahon.)

-Schreiber interviewed Ripley who said if Nikki feels like she’s the victim here, she’s more delusional than she thought. She’s going to show people who she is next.

-Ripley’s ring entrance took place. [c]

-Before the match, after Nikki’s entrance, Queen Zelina and Carmella came out. Zelina took credit for pushing Nikki over the edge and then insulted Ripley. Nikki attacked Ripley and whipped her into the ringside steps. Graves said tonight isn’t about a victory for Nikki, “it’s about making a statement.”

(Keller’s Analysis: It’s still so strange that they do these “attacks from behind” ostensibly to get heat on the heel so fans want to see the babyface get revenge, but then the announcers frame it as some sort of “statement” to give her confidence and momentum, minus any condemnation. What’s the point then, if the announcers extinguish the outrage fans might otherwise be drawn into feeling for a cowardly brutal attack that cost them an advertised match?)

-After a clip aired of Omos attacking Reggie and promising to do worse this week, they went backstage to Brooke reminding Reggie of their strategy. She said he’s faster and stronger and amazing. Reggie said he’ll stay low, exhaust him, and go for his knees and ankles. Brooke said he’s ruthless and super-athletic. Reggie said he bounced off him of last week like he’s a brick wall. She said he’s the most capable man he knows, “so just stay away from him.” (Isn’t that a bit like telling someone they’re the best speller, but stay away from any spelling bees?) R-Truth, Tamina, Akira Tozawa, and a referee were watching from above and eating popcorn.

-Omos made his entrance. Smith said the question for Reggie isn’t whether he can win, but can he survive. Graves predicted it’d last six seconds. [c]

-They did a slideshow of the “Top 10 WWE Instragram Photos of the Week.”

(4) OMOS vs. REGGIE

They did the low camera angle shhot to accentuate the height difference between Reggie and Omos. Omos let out a roar as Reggie stared at his solar plexus. Tozawa ran out, but was tossed out by Omos. He also tossed R-Truth aside. Tamina ran up to him, but was intimidated and rolled out. Reggie leaped off the top rope, but Omos caught him, lifted him, and slammed him to the mat. The ref counted to three as Omos placed his foot on his chest.

WINNER: Omos in about 30 seconds.

-Maryse began her ring entrance. [c]

-Maryse said her husband isn’t there tonight. She said Miz makes bad decisions without consulting her. Beth and Edge walked out. She said their match at the Rumble has to be canceled. She said they don’t want the match, she doesn’t, and nor do the fans. Maryse said she has a microphone and she can be louder than every one of them. She said it doesn’t matter what they think. She told Beth to hear her out. She said they battled through the same era. “Remember the two minute matches?” she said. She said they fought together and made the Women’s Division what it is today. “Women nowadays are headlining WrestleMania because of our work, because of us,” she said. “If anything, we should be on the same team. We should be a unit and be friends – we should be best friends.” She said they should hang out and go on play dates and have dinners and have coffee after this and talk it out.

[HOUR THREE]

Beth said she speaks for everyone in telling her to please shut up. She said she’s not buying any of this. She said she learned her acting ability from her husband. She said their match is not off. She said she’s not forgoing a chance to team with her husband for the first time and getting the chance to Glam Slam her ass through the canvas. She said she wanted to give everyone a preview. Beth entered the ring. Miz showed up at ringside. Edge punched him. Maryse hit Beth from behind with her purse. Maryse bailed out as Edge checked on his wife who was face down on the mat. Near the entrance area, Miz and Maryse revealed she had a brick in her purse.

-The Street Profits talked about being in the Rumble. Angelo Dawkins began asking Montez Ford about whether he’d be mad if he tossed him over the top rope. The Mysterios entered the picture. Rey vowed that they’d outlast everyone. Dominik said they’ll toss out 29 other men and take the Mysterio name back to the main event. (Does Dominik realize there’d need to be 31 men in the Rumble for him and his dad to eliminate 29 other men?)

-The Street Profits made their ring entrance. The Mysterios began their entrance. Graves pointed out Dominik’s math problem. [c]

(5) THE STREET PROFITS & REY & DOMINIK MYSTERIO vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER & ROBERT ROODE & APOLLO CREWS & COMMANDER AZEEZ

Rey rallied against Roode and head scissored him over the top rope to the floor. A brawl broke out at ringside and all eight squared off as they cut to a break. [c]

The Mysterios hit stereo 619s on Ziggler and Roode. When Dominik leaped at Azeez at ringside, Azeez caught him. Rey dove at Azeez and knocked him down. In the ring, Dawkins landed a spinebuster on Crews, then Ford landed a top rope frog splash for the win.

WINNERS: Street Profits & Mysterios in 8:00.

-After the match, the Mysterios tossed the Profits over the top rope. Then Rey tossed Dominik over the top rope. The announcers stressed it’s every man for himself at the Rumble.

-They went to the announcers at ringside. Graves threw to a clip of Lashley talking on his podcast, “After the Bell,” talking about facing Lesnar.

-A length video package aired on Lesnar and Lashley, including a recap of their MMA accomplishments. The narrator said their paths have never crossed, but they will battle at the Rumble and only one will leave as WWE Champion.

-The announcers hyped their match at the Rumble.

-Kevin Patrick interviewed Miz and Maryse. He asked Maryse to comment on her “vicious shot” she took at Pheonix. Miz was delighted with what they did to Edge and Phoenix earlier. He said next week is Phoenix’s birthday, so he’s going to throw the most expensive and elaborate extravaganza for her “because I love you.” Then he and Maryse began making out. Patrick ran away.

-They went to the second therapy session clip with Alexa Bliss. The therapist said he wouldn’t tolerate her throwing a fit like last week. He said he did trigger it with a bad memory. He did word association. He said various words (trust, home, doll, friend) and she said “Lilly” each time. When he said “imaginary,” she got angry and stood. The therapist said their time is up and he left. Bliss sat and tried to meditate briefly.

-Lashley’s ring entrance took place. [c]

(6) SETH ROLLINS vs. BOBBY LASHLEY

Seth’s ring entrance took place. The bell rang 45 minutes into the hour. They battled back and forth early. Lashley caught Seth diving at him through the ropes, then overhead suplexed him at ringside. They cut to a break at 2:00. [c]

Smith said many thought this match wouldn’t be competitive, but it has been. An exasperated Graves interrupted and asked who could think that because they are both top contenders for the two top titles in WWE. Smith said he didn’t think that, but Lashley has been imposing lately. Seth was working over Lashley’s legs mid-ring. (Smith’s instincts are still dumbfounding.)

More back and forth, hard-hitting action, with a number of near falls. Lashley set up a spear, but Seth caught him with a knee to the chin. He followed with a rolling elbow. Lashley set up a powerslam, but Seth escaped and hit a Pedigree for a two count. When Seth climbed to the top rope, Lashley grabbed him and gave him an overhead suplex to the mat. Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin yanked Lasley out of the ring and attacked him. The ref called for the bell.

WINNER: Lashley via DQ in 13:00.

-Seth said this sucked. Tey teamed up to suplex Lashley at ringside as Seth looked on from the other side of the ring. Lashley fought back and knocked both Shelton and Cedric down. Lashley speared Shelton through the barricade near the time keeper’s area. The Usos then jumped over the barricade and into the ring. They delivered a double superkick to Seth’s chin. Their music played. Smith said that wasn’t the ending either of the wrestlers wanted tonight. Graves clarified Smith meant Lashley and Seth, since the camera was on the Usos, and Smith didn’t specify. That’s how the show ended.

(Keller’s Analysis: I didn’t expect a finish here. I wonder if everything with Cedric and Shelton last week was just to provide the escape hatch for a finish for this match, or if they’ll be involved in the Lesnar vs. Lashley match too.)


Tonight after the show, join Wade Keller live with guest co-host Cameron Hawkins from the PWTorch East Coast Cast to break down the show with live callers and emails.

STREAM LIVE HERE ABOUT 5 MINUTES AFTER THE SHOW CONCLUDES
•CALL: (347) 215-8558

•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com
•IF YOU DON’T LISTEN LIVE, SEARCH “WADE KELLER” ON YOUR PODCAST APP TO SUBSCRIBE AND THEN DOWNLOAD OR STREAM THE FULL SHOW TWO HOURS OR SO AFTER THE TV SHOW ENDS.

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