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KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
NOVEMBER 14, 2022
LOUISVILLE, KY. AT KFC YUM! CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Commentators: Kevin Patrick, Corey Graves
Ring Announcer: Mike Rome
-The Raw opening aired. Then Kevin Patrick introduced the show and called it a pivotal night for Raw with Survivor Series just two weeks away.
-Seth Rollins made his ring entrance next and fans sang along. He was wearing a custom suit with light pastel colors swirled on both the pants and jacket. As Seth twirled center-ring, they replayed what happened last week with Bobby Lashley attacking Mustafa Ali backstage and then attacking Seth at ringside, leading to Austin Theory’s failed cash-in thanks to Lashley interfering and attacking him. Back live in the ring, Seth said last week was crazy. He said Finn Balor, Ali, Lashley, and Theory were all coming for him. He talked about what happened to Theory last week. He said something seems a little different about the U.S. Title as of late. He said the one thing that’s different now is him. He said now that he’s the champion, it is without question the top prize on Monday nights. He said they will add to his legacy tonight when he defends it against Balor, “a former friend, a former foe.”
Lashley’s music played and he walked out, mic in hand. Lashley said he won’t rest until he has his U.S. Title back. Seth told Lashley he had his opportunity last week, but instead of trying to win in a match, “you decided it would be better to try to take my soul from my body.” He said his temper got the better of him, which might be related to the match he lost at Crown Jewel to Brock Lesnar. Ali’s music interrupted Seth. A ref ran out and seemed to be trying to talk Ali out of going to the ring. Seth asked what he was doing. Lashley said the beating he gave him last week will pale compared to what he’ll do to him now unless he turns around and walked to the back. Ali charged into the ring instead, but Lashley easily fended him off with an elbow to the neck. Lashley cornered Seth and pointed at him; Ali leaped onto Lashley’s back. Lashley dumped him over the top rope. Lashley told Ali he’s starting to piss him off. He welcomed him to enter the ring for an ass kicking. “Get in here and get some,” he said. [c]
(1) BOBBY LASHLEY vs. MUSTAFA ALI
Lashley beat up Ali for several minutes. Ali attempted a comeback when he avoided a charging Lashley in the corner. He landed a tornado DDT off the ropes. He pulled himself back to his feet, but Lashley caught him a sudden spear and then applied the Hurt Lock for the win. He held on a few extra seconds.
WINNER: Lashley in 4:00.
-Cathy Kelley interviewed The O.C. including Mia Yim backstage. Styles said they’ve evened the odds. Luke Gallows said he convinced Yim to join them because he has a way with women. Yim’s body language indicated that there is no grosser thought than Gallows. Styles challenged Balor to a one-on-one match at Survivor Series. They all did the Too Sweet gesture together.
(2) MIA YIM vs. TAMINA
As the match began, Dominik Mysterio and Rhea Ripley walked to ringside and waved at her. They showed Bayley, Dakota Kai, and Iyo Sky watching the match on a monitor backstage. (They weren’t side-watching! They were looking directly at the big screen and the camera panned over to show them.) Yim avoided a top rope splash by Tamina a minute into the match. Yim chopped and kicked away at Tamina, then ducked a Tamina clothesline. She landed a running boot to the face in the corner. Tamina came back with an uppercut, but Yim came right back with an Eat Defeat and a three count.
WINNER: Yim in 3:00.
-Afterward, Ripley teased entering the ring, but then dropped to the floor again and told Yim she’s in her head.
(Keller’s Analysis: That finish was so sudden. Not a lot to the match, but it’s good to show Yim’s move set and establish her in front of the Raw audience.)
-Riddle was playing bongos. Kelley asked where Elias was. Riddle said he’s booking their gigs since he agreed to be in a band with him. Chad Gable and Otis walked up to Riddle and “shooosh’d” him. The shoosh’ing turned into a little song with Riddle playing the bongos. Otis said Elias and Riddle as a team is a clown show. Gable said he’s going to put him down into the ground later. Riddle said they are lame. [c]
-Damage CTRL approached Yim and said they share a lot in common and they should join them at War Games. Yim said she appreciates the offer, but she doesn’t have any problems with Asuka, Alexa Bliss, or Bianca Belair. Bayley told her to think about it. Yim told her not to take too long and sneered at her. Styles, Anderson, and Gallows walked up to Yim. Yim said Damage CTRL were just leaving.
(3) RIDDLE vs. CHAD GABLE (w/Otis)
They fought back and forth for a few minutes. Riddle climbed to the top rope. Otis distracted him. Gable then recovered and overhead release suplexed Riddle. Both were down and slow to get up as they cut to a break. [c]
More back and forth action after the break. Riddle scored a two count after a knee to Gable’s chin. Gable came back with an ankle lock, but Riddle powered out and then applied a jumping triangle. Gable powered Riddle up and then gut-wrenched Riddle up and drove him chest-first to the mat for a near fall. Riddle came back with a draping DDT. He knocked Otis off the ring apron. Gable grabbed Riddle from behind and rolled him up. Riddle flipped out of his grip. Gable went for a backslide and Otis held Gable’s boots for extra leverage giving Gable the win.
WINNER: Gable in 10:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good match. Even with the interference, Gable gets a little boost from not simply being cleaned pin easily.)
-JBL and Baron Corbin were playing poker backstage. A server delivered Kentucky bourbon. JBL rejected the offer because that bourbon is from backwoods hillbillies who marry their cousins. JBL then gave Corbin some Ugandan prime whiskey. Akira Tozawa walked up to join the poker game. JBL asked if he has ever played before or knows the rules. Tozawa said no, so JBL said he would happily include him in the game.
-Miz TV: Miz walked out to his music dressed in a sweater vest and appearing to be in a conciliatory mood, fist-bumping fans. Patrick said he couldn’t look more innocent. Graves compared him to Mr. Rogers. [c]
-Byron Saxton sat with Miz in the ring. Miz said he was relinquishing his job as host tonight. He told Saxton to thank him for joining me. Miz asked for silence as he read a prepared statement. He said he regretted paying Dexter Lumis. He said after being in WWE 18 years, never injured and never taking a day off, or if he was injured, he still showed up. “And I never got so much as a cheer or a pat on the back,” he said. He said he has asked for very little, but Dexter kept taking and taking until he couldn’t see any end in sight. He said that’s why he had to put a stop to Dexter’s greediness.
Saxton asked why he lied to a private investigator he thought was a movie producer. Miz said he was telling her what she wanted to hear and putting on a performance so she’d buy his intellectual property. He said in a big city like Hollywood, they don’t want real, so he decided to embellish to make it more interesting. He said in real life, he’s just a devoted father and loving husband and a man who was couped up in his bathroom all weekend because he was so distraught over what was happening. Johnny Gargano’s music interrupted.
As Gargano walked out, Graves said he’s out there to kick a man when he was down. Gargano called out Miz for lying. He said his wife posted pictures on Instagram of a vacation he and his wife were on. Miz said he was depressed in his hotel room. Gargano said nobody cares about him because he always takes the easy way out. “Why would I take the hard way?” asked Miz. (Good point, perhaps.) Miz said Gargano just wants people to chant “Johnny Wrestling.” Gargano said he likes that chant, but everyone knows he’s a compulsive liar. He called him Mike and said he lies about everything. He called him “Mr. Rogers,” as if that was a big dig. Gargano said Rogers is a good guy who treats people well and loves his neighbors. Miz insisted he is a good guy and said a few times that he is sorry. “Now can we just move on so I can be the cornerstone of this company and a role model for my kids?” he said.
Gargano said he talked to WWE officials who thought the hidden camera footage was convincing. He announced that Miz will face Dexter Lumis in two weeks on Raw. He said if Dexter wins, he has to pay him everything he still owes him. He said Dexter will also get a WWE contract if he beats Miz. Miz said that match will be the biggest mistake of his miserable life. He said it will be awesome! Gargano told him to tell Dexter himself. Dexter entered the ring behind Miz. Miz ran away.
(Keller’s Analysis: Two more weeks before this is over? I think there’s mild interest in how this plays out, but Gargano continues to be annoying in this role which isn’t helping the situation.)
-Kelley interviewed Shelton Benjamin backstage. Dominik and Damian Priest walked up to him and interrupted him early. Dom said he’s been a loser since Rey Mysterio and Edge were in their primes. He said they beat him, and he’s better than them. Shelton warned Dom to back away. Priest told Shelton to calm down. He said if he has a problem with Dominik, he has a serious problem with him too. Shelton said he wouldn’t mind working on his problem tonight. He said it’s time for someone to teach a lesson. He said he was accepting Dominik’s challenge and he’d see him in the ring. Dominik wanted Shelton to face Priest instead and looked worried.
(4) SHELTON BENJAMIN vs. DOMINIK MYSTERIO (w/Rhea Ripley, Damian Priest)
Graves said Shelton is “truly timeless.” Shelton controlled early. Dominik snapped Shelton’s neck over the top rope at 2:00. He stomped away and punched away at Shelton aggressively. He took Shelton down with a flying headscissors and then set up Shelton for a 619. Shelton countered and landed a high knee and an exploder suplex. Dominik rolled to the floor. Shelton threw him back into the ring and then had a few words for Priest. Back in the ring, Shelton fended off Dominik and applied an ankle lock. As Priest distracted the ref, Ripley pulled Dominik to the rope to force a break. Shelton yelled at Dominik at ringside. Dominik then came up behind Shelton and threw him shoulder-first into the ringpost. He followed with a top rope splash for the win.
WINNER: Dominik in 4:00. [c]
-Kelley interviewed Theory backstage. He said nobody understands him. He said he was the chosen one and has since exceeded that expectation and outgrew the ceiling by becoming the face of a franchise. He said people continue to hate on him because they can’t relate. He said everyone wants to see him fall short, but that won’t happen. He said last Monday people think he fell, but they’re wrong. He said he feels more alive than he ever has. He said if it wasn’t for Lashley, he’d have had the best cash-in ever. Dolph Ziggler interrupted and said it would have been the worst cash-in ever. He said he tried to help him before, but his ego was too big. Theory said he’s done being the next big thing or the future, he is the now. He said he’d love to prove it to him in the ring. Ziggler agreed.
-They went to the announcers at ringside. Graves said he’s never seen Theory so focused. Patrick threw to a video package on Survivor Series and the War Games match.
-Damage CTRL made their way to the ring. [c]
(5) DANA BROOKE vs. IYO SKY (w/Bayley, Dakota Kai)
On her way to the ring, a soundbite aired with Dana who said she’s worked hard for everything she’s earned. She said it was painful to watch Nikki Cross throw the 24/7 belt in the trash. She said she won’t go down without a fight. The announcers wondered if if Nikki is part of Damage CTRL. Sky won with her top rope moonsault.
WINNER: Sky in 3:00.
-As Damage CTRL celebrated, Nikki joined them. Mia Yim walked out to give her answer about Survivor Series. She said WarGames is a fight where everyone has to pick a side, and she picked hers. Out came Bliss, Asuka, and Belair to stand with her.
-Corbin went all in during the game with Tozawa. Tozawa had three kings and then made celebration utterances. Corbin claimed he had three aces, but he didn’t show his hand. Tozawa turned the cards over and called him a cheater. JBL said those are fighting words. Tozawa challenged Corbin to a match.
-Theory made his ring entrance. [c]
(6) AUSTIN THEORY vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER
Graves talked about the history between these two. They were both wearing camo gear. Graves talked about Theory losing the MITB cash-in was just a small step back, but he’ll still reach the top. Theory dominated the early minutes and they cut to a break after he threw Ziggler shoulder-first into the ringpost. [c]
Back from the break, Ziggler took over and applied a sleeper. He landed a Fameasser next for a near fall.
Ziggler reverse-whipped Theory into the ringpost and then landed a Zig Zag a minute later for a near fall. Fans began a “This is awesome!” chant. Theory got intense and vicious. He threw Ziggler to the floor and then into the ringside steps. He threw the top of the steps onto Ziggler, and then rammed his head into the announce desk. He ended up DQ’d by the ref. Graves said, inaccurately, the ref had “no choice but to throw this out.” (That’s a DDQ, but this was just DQ’ing Theory, so the ref isn’t throwing anything out.)
WINNER: Ziggler in 14:00 via DQ.
-Theory continued to beat on Ziggler at ringside. He backed away, but then attacked again. He had a different expression and demeanor than usual. “I ain’t no damn kid!” he said as he walked to the back. “I’m ‘All Day’ Austin Theory.”
-Backstage, JBL and Corbin headed toward the entrance stage for the match against Tozawa. [c]
-They showed postcard shots of Louisville.
-Backstage, Damage CTRL were hanging out with Nikki behind then climbing equipment. Ripley walked up and offered to join them because Yim is involved. “Let’s go to war,” she said as Damage CTRL smiled.
(7) BARON CORBIN (w/JBL) vs. AKIRA TOZAWA
Tozawa took it to Corbin early. He connected with a Shining Wizard and then leaped off the top rope with a back-first bodypress. He climbed to the top rope again as Graves asked what’s going on with Corbin. Corbin caught Tozawa mid-air and landed an End of Days for the win.
WINNER: Corbin 3:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Did Corbin go to Louisville for any reason other than to play poker with JBL? What if Tozawa didn’t join the poker game and challenge him? This is a fine little intra-show angle to give a backstory for a Corbin quick TV win. They gave Tozawa quite a bit of offense there, though.)
-Graves and Patrick commented on highlights of Edge giving up at Extreme Rules when Ripley threatened to hit Beth Phoenix with a chair, and then Ripley hitting her with a chair anyway. [c]
-Clips aired of Theory’s vicious attack on Ziggler earlier. Graves said Ziggler is receiving treatment backstage.
-Kelley interviewed Belair, Asuka, Bliss, and Yim. Belair said if adding Yim was big, “just wait until we add a fifth.” Kelley noted there will be a match next week to determine who gets the advantage at WarGames. Belair said the decision of who wrestles that match isn’t being taken lightly. She said no matter who they throw at her, they’ll represent. She said their opponents are about games, but they’re about war. As they left, Gable and Otis walked up to Kelly and asked if she has forgotten to interview the biggest winner of the night. Gable said he and Otis would easily beat Riddle and Elias. Seth walked past them while singing his song.
-They cut to Balor warming up backstage. Saxton approached him and asked about Styles challenging him to a match at Survivor Series. Balor said, “Of course I accept.” He said tonight his focus is on Seth first, though. He said they have a lot of unfinished business. He said he’ll become the new U.S. Champion next.
-Balor made his ring entrance. [c]
(8) SETH ROLLINS vs. FINN BALOR – U.S. Title match
Balor got early control and settled into an early chinlock. Seth escaped and threw Balor to the floor, and then he landed a slingshot crossbody. As Seth celebrated, they cut to an early break. [c]
Balor was in control after the break. Balor threw Seth ribs first into the announce desk. A few minutes later, Seth made a comeback and knocked Balor to the floor. He then hit his obligatory mid-match dive through the ropes to tackle Balor into the announce desk. Seth stayed on offense in the ring and went for a top rope splash, but Balor lifted his knees. They cut to another break at 11:00. [c]
The pace picked up with each going for signature big moves. Seth scored a near fall after a sitout powerbomb. A “This is awesome!” chant rang out. Balor climbed to the top rope, but Seth knocked him off balance. Seth then executed a top rope superplex, but Balor countered with a 1916, brushing off the superplex, getting a near fall. When Seth set up a Stomp, Dominik and Priest distracted him. Balor rolled up Seth for a near fall. Seth landed an immediate series of strikes, then swung at Priest on the ring apron. Balor landed a double stomp on Seth, but Anderson, Gallows, Styles, and Yim ran out to fight with everyone at ringside. Anderson knocked Dominik over the top rope. Balor knocked him to the floor. Priest speared Anderson into the announce desk. (Anderson cartoonishly leaped into the air before he was hit to get a bigger bump out of the impact.) Balor climbed to the top rope, but Styles shoved him off the top rope and he hit the top rope on his way down. Priest and Styles fought in the crowd. Dominik and Gallows joined in. Back in the ring, Seth caught Balor with a Stomp for the win.
WINNER: Rollins in 21:00.
-After the match, Theory attacked Rollins. He gave him an A-Town Down and then rammed his head into the ringside steps and the announce desk.