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WWE RAW TV REPORT
NOVEMBER 21, 2022
ALBANY, N.Y. AT M.V.P. ARENA
AIRED ON USA
REPORT BY DANNY DOUCETTE, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentators: Kevin Patrick, Corey Graves
Ring Announcer: Mike Rome
-The show opened with the “Then. Now. Forever. Together” signature. The Raw intro aired followed by a shot of the arena stage and pyro exploding.
-Kevin Owens’ music hit to a nice ovation from the crowd. Owens made his way to the ring as a picture-in-picture recap aired of Owens’ return on Smackdown to fight off The Bloodline. Patrick and Graves then hyped the War Games match between Owens, Drew McIntyre, and The Brawling Brutes (Sheamus, Butch, and Ridge Holland) versus The Bloodline (Roman Reigns, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Solo Sikoa, and Sami Zayn) . Owens had a microphone and said he joined McIntyre and the Brutes to get his hands on Reigns. Owens said that it’s been two long years since he faced Reigns for the World title. Owens said he would’ve ended Reigns’ title reign had it not been for the rest of The Bloodline. Owens declared his intentions to beat Reigns and take his title. A chant rang out for Owens. Owens said he was invited to Smackdown and he wanted to return the favor.
This brought out the Brutes and McIntyre, who entered through the crowd. Patrick and Graves hyped a match for Smackdown where Sheamus and McIntyre face The Usos for an advantage in the War Games match. Holland and Butch said it was fight night. Sheamus said that the War Games match on Saturday would be a career-altering match. McIntyre said that The Bloodline are holding the WWE’s top titles hostage and said that would change at Survivor Series. Owens seemed to be standing off to the side away from the Brutes and McIntyre.
The Judgment Day’s music interrupted. Finn Balor, Dominik Mysterio, Rhea Ripley, and Damian Priest stood atop the stage. Ripley said she will dominated the women’s War Games match and that Judgment Day runs Raw. Priest told McIntyre and the Brutes to go back to Smackdown. Dominik reiterated Priest’s message and told them to say hello to his deadbeat dad Rey Mysterio. Balor ran down A.J. Styles and said he hopes The Bloodline beats McIntyre, Owens, and the Brutes. Sheamus addressed Balor who he called his fellow Irishmen. Sheamus said he doesn’t respect Balor and called him a “plastic patty”, which Balor took offense to. Sheamus challenged Judgement Day to face the Brutes. Balor, Dominik, and Priest ran into the ring and brawled with Holland, Sheamus, and Butch. The Brutes got the better of the exchange. Balor and Priest retreated to the floor as the Brutes celebrated in the ring. [c]
(1) THE JUDGMENT DAY (Finn Balor, Damian Priest, & Dominik Mysterio) (w/Rhea Ripley) vs. THE BRAWLING BRUTES (Sheamus, Ridge Holland, and Butch) (w/Drew McIntyre)
Owens was on commentary. Owens further explained his reasoning for joining the Brutes/McIntyre War Games team as them needing a fifth member and him needing to get his hands on Reigns. The match started out offensively even between both teams. Butch came in ran wild on Balor and Dominik until Priest chokeslammed him from ringside onto the apron. [c]
Coming out of the break, Judgment Day ganged up on Butch to keep him out of the Brutes’ corner. Dominik got cocky and Butch twisted his fingers and hit Balor with an enziguri. However, Dominik cleverly knocked Sheamus off of the apron before the tag. Holland tried to go after Dominik, but he pulled Ripley in his way for protection. Sheamus and Dominik both tagged in at one point and Dominik was terrified. Dominik tried running backstage, but The O.C.’s music hit and stopped him in his tracks. Sheamus brought Dominik back to the ring. Styles, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, and Mia Yim were shown standing on the stage watching the match. Dominik tried rolling up Sheamus, but only got a two count. Sheamus hit Dominik with the Ten Beats of the Bodhran, which the crowd liked Sheamus hit Dominik with the Brogue Kick for the win.
WINNERS: Brawling Brutes in 13:00.
(Doucette’s Analysis: This was a good, standard six-man tag match. Nothing we haven’t seen before. The set up for it was so contrived, though. That’s one of the things I hope we can being to see less of. The match could have been scheduled with the competitors given some allotted promo time before the match. Judgment Day was kind of just there. However, The Brawling Brutes seem to be doing well as babyfaces and Owens is still super over.)
-Balor attacked Sheamus after the bell and a brawl broke out between the teams. Sheamus and Priest brawled up the entryway. Gallows hit Priest with a spinning kick and laid him out. Owens left commentary and hit Balor with a Stunner inside the ring.
-Johnny Gargano was shown walking backstage. He was stopped by Cathy Kelley for an interview. Kelley asked Gargano about his upcoming match with The Miz. Gargano said Miz couldn’t beat him so he had to cheat to win in their last match. Gargano said the he has an understanding with Dexter Lumis and he won’t get involved. Gargano and Kelley fist-bumped and he headed to the ring. [c]
-Gargano made his way out to the ring and seemed to have new entrance music. A picture-in-picture recap was shown of Gargano’s confrontation with Miz last week. Miz came out to the stage in a suit and said he couldn’t wrestle because he injured himself doing a TikTok video. Miz had his hand wrapped and said he punched a cactus. Miz said he got a worthy opponent for Gargano to replace him. Miz pointed towards the entryway and Gargano’s opponent was revealed to be Omos. Graves called Omos a “living, breathing skyscraper”. Miz did a little dance as Omos, accompanied by M.V.P., entered the ring.
(2) JOHNNY GARGANO vs. OMOS (w/M.V.P.)
Miz was on commentary. Omos dominated to start. After Gargano hit Omos with a couple of kicks, Miz left the commentary desk to distract Gargano. Omos palmed Gargano’s head and lifted him over the top rope into a choke. Gargano fought out and hit Omos with several superkicks. Gargano leaped off the top rope into a chokeslam by Omos for the win.
WINNER: Omos in 3:00.
-Miz taunted a fallen Gargano from ringside as Omos posed in the ring.
-Seth Rollins was shown backstage being mic’ed up for an interview. [c]
-A recap was shown of Austin Theory’s explanation for his Money in the Bank cash-in and attacks on Dolph Ziggler and Seth Rollins. Graves hyped a triple threat U.S. title match between Rollins, Theory, and Bobby Lashley at Survivor Series.
-Graves interviewed Rollins, who was via satellite. Rollins said he’s never felt better despite being attacked by Lashley and Theory in consecutive weeks. Graves asked how Rollins is preparing for the triple threat match. Rollins said he asked for the match. Rollins said he is prepared to survive the unpredictable Lashley. However, he called Theory “the stupidest person on Earth”. Not for trying to cash-in on him, but for attacking him last week. Rollins told Theory to ask Cody Rhodes how picking a fight with him works out. Rollins said they are not in the War Games match, but it will still be war. Rollins asked what Theory and Lashley will do to prepare for him. He closed by saying that he will still be U.S. champion after Survivor Series.
(Doucette’s Analysis: This was a decent interview and was in line with Rollins’ “one step ahead of everyone” character. However, after being presented as a babyface the past few weeks, Rollins was quite heelish here. Bringing up how he beat down Cody Rhodes conjures up memories of how dastardly he was not that long ago.)
-Theory was shown staring at Rollins on a television backstage. Theory said Rollins, nor anyone else understands him. Theory said hitting rock bottom was the best thing to ever happen to him. Theory said he’s a new man and will be the new champion after Survivor Series. Theory told Rollins and Theory to watch what he does to Mustafa Ali.
-Ali made his entrance to the ring with his ribs taped up. Theory made his way to the ring as Graves commented that Ali was not one-hundred percent after a World Cup tournament match on Smackdown.
(3) MUSTAFA ALI vs. AUSTIN THEORY
Theory targeted the injured ribs of Ali early. Ali countered with a spinning DDT and a superkick. However, it did not prove fruitful as Theory regained control quickly. Ali was able to nail a sunset flip powerbomb after a superplex attempt by Theory. Ali then followed up with a 450 splash, but his injured ribs didn’t allow him to capitalize. Theory hit A-Town Down for the win.
WINNER: Theory in 6:00.
(Doucette’s Analysis: I like the decision to get Theory more serious, however, I’m still getting used to it. He’s got the demeanor and intensity down, but he needs some quick, dominant wins. He couldn’t put away Ziggler last week and he looked beat tonight had it not been for Ali’s injury.)
-Lashley popped up on the video wall. Lashley said that Theory got his attention. He then told Theory that he was coming to the ring to face him immediately. [c]
-Lashley came out to the ring and said he’s surprised Theory stuck around. Lashley mocked Theory for his new “tough” demeanor. Theory said he would bee the U.S. champion had it not been for Lashley interfering. Theory then taunted Lashley for losing to Rollins and Brock Lesnar. Theory declared he will be a two-time U.S. champion after Saturday. Lashley said Theory can’t walk out of Survivor Series as champion if he can’t even walk out tonight. Lashley ten attacked Theory and the two began brawling. Lashley suplexed Theory and threw him around outside. Theory avoided being rammed into the post, but Lashley threw him into the timekeeper’s area. Theory hit Lashley with a chair, but it only made him angry. Theory ran backstage with Lashley giving chase.
Theory then spotted Ali who was being tended to by a referee. Theory shoved Ali into Lashley and ran off-screen. Ali shoved Lashley and then Lashley began to beat him down. Lashley threw Ali out onto the stage and put him in the Hurt Lock. Ali passed out. Lashley posed for the fans as his music played.
(Doucette’s Analysis: That was underwhelming and confusing. Ali, the human gnat, gets swatted again. Is this setting up an upset victory over Lashley at some point? If not, it’s just a waste of a talent. New attitude-Theory is still a coward apparently. All the frowning and snarling is just for show. Lashley still has some crowd support, but it looked like he was going heel a couple of weeks ago.) [c]
(4) ALPHA ACADEMY (Chad Gable & Otis) vs. ELIAS & MATT RIDDLE
Elias back bodydropped Gable, which sent him retreating the the floor. Riddle stood on the turnbuckle and hyped up the crowd. [c]
Gable and Otis had Riddle down, but Riddle fought back. Elias and Riddle teamed up to hit an Electric Chair Bro-ton. Elias dove at Otis outside, but Otis caught him and rammed him into the barricade. Gable then hit Riddle with a suplex on the apron. [c]
Otis and Gable teamed up to hit Riddle with a Steiner Bulldog, but Riddle kicked out at two. Otis missed a Vader Bomb on Riddle. Gable and Elias tagged in consecutively. Elias used an offensive flurry against Gable, ending with a neckbreaker for a two count. Otis hit Elias with a Scorpion Deathdrop and Gable followed up with a diving headbutt. Otis went for a pin, but Riddle broke it up before a count. Elias hit Gable with a Corkscrew Fisherman Buster and Riddle followed up with a Floating Bro for the win.
WINNERS: Elias & Riddle in 14:00.
-Elias and Riddle celebrated in the ring as Otis yelled that their victory was a fluke.
(Doucette’s Analysis: Elias and Riddle have decent team chemistry, but not on the level of American Alpha. The Elias portions of the match seemed clunky and awkward as usual. I’m still expecting Elias to turn on Riddle, but I guess we’ll have to deal with indeterminable period of their “fun” tag-team first.)
-Backstage, JBL and Baron Corbin were playing poker. JBL and Corbin bashed Albany until they were approached by McIntyre. JBL asked McIntyre how Scotland was doing in the World Cup. JBL said he forgot they didn’t make it. JBL talked up Corbin and McIntyre challenged Corbin to a match. Corbin said they could settle it right here, right now. McIntyre said he respects his elders, but not Corbin. McIntyre punched Corbin and said he’d see him in the ring. [c]
-A video package for War Games aired, then Graves and Patrick ran down the Survivor Series card.
-JBL and Corbin made their way to the ring.
(Doucette’s Analysis: Corbin still looks like he’s doing three different gimmicks at once. It looks very sloppy and amateurish.) [c]
-McIntyre made his way to the ring and pointed his sword close to JBL’s face. JBL panicked and Graves scolded McIntyre for doing that.
(5) BARON CORBIN (w/JBL) vs. DREW MCINTYRE
McIntyre and Corbin traded offense until McIntyre hit Corbin with a couple of clotheslines. One sent Corbin over the top rope to the outside. JBL distracted McIntyre which allowed Corbin to ram him into the ring post. Corbin controlled the match until McIntyre fought back with two clotheslines, a belly-to-belly suplex, and a neckbreaker. McIntyre tried a Future Shock DDT, but Corbin fought out. McIntyre nailed a Michinoku Driver for a two count. Corbin landed a Fallaway Slam on McIntyre. McIntyre headbutted Corbin, but Corbin clotheslined him. Both competitors were down. [c]
Corbin executed a superplex on McIntyre after the break. That only got a two count. Corbin then chokeslammed McIntyre for another two count. Corbin tried End of Days, but McIntyre countered into the Future Shock DDT. McIntyre set up the Claymore, but Corbin moved. Corbin hit a modified Samoan Drop for another two count. Corbin pounded on the back of McIntyre and threw him into the ringpost. Corbin charged McIntyre, but was met with a belly-to-belly suplex into the barricade. McIntyre got fired up as the action moved back inside. McIntyre signaled for the Claymore, but JBL provided another distraction. Corbin hit Deep Six for another nearfall. Corbin argued with the referee. Akira Tozawa then appeared crouching on the announce desk. Tozawa (who has appears to have dropped the ninja gimmick, thankfully) leaped into JBL’s arms, stole his hat, and ran away through the crowd. In the ring, McIntyre hit Corbin with the Claymore for the win.
WINNER: McIntyre in 18:00.
(Doucette’s Analysis: This was long and dull. It felt way longer than 18 minutes. Corbin is not an 18 minute match guy, especially when we all knew how it was ending. The renewed Corbin push still isn’t working. McIntyre was fine, but this was still brutal. At least Tozawa has a new gimmick.)
-The O.C. and Mia Yim were shown talking backstage as Graves and Patrick hyped an exclusive interview with the group. [c]
-Graves and Patrick recapped the opening match and the subsequent brawl.
-Kelley interviewed Styles and The O.C. backstage. Styles said he and Balor used to be friends, but Anderson, Gallows, and Yim are his family. Balor appeared and got in Styles face and threatened him which led to the rest of the Judgment Day attacking The O.C. The groups brawled and the action spilled out into the parking lot. Anderson slammed Dominik on the hood of a car that was in the middle of the lot with the door open. Balor threw a trash can at Styles. Referees and officials came out to break it up. [c]
-Bianca Belair’s music hit. Belair made her way to the ring accompanied by Asuka and Alexa Bliss. Graves and Patrick wondered who the fifth member of Belair’s team was. Belair said that she and Bayley have been tearing each other apart since SummerSlam. Belair declared that the war will end at Survivor Series. Bliss said she can’t wait to get payback on Damage CTRL and throw Nikki Cross in the trash. Asuka said they’re ready for war. Belair promised that no one will be disappointed in who they chose for their team. Belair said they’ll reveal it Friday on Smackdown.
Ripley’s music hit and Ripley came out to the stage along with Damage CTRL (Bayley, Dakota Kai, and Iyo Sky) and Cross. Bayley mocked Belair for waiting until Smackdown to reveal their last teammate. Bayley said no one respects Belair and they’re probably having a hard time finding a partner. Bayley then said Belair should step up and face Ripley instead of Asuka. Asuka told Bayley to shut up. Ripley stepped into the ring and said she would eradicate Asuka. A referee got into the ring to start the match. [c]
(6) ASUKA vs. RHEA RIPLEY
Damage CTRL was shown watching backstage and Cross was sitting on a bench pulling at her hair. Bliss and Belair was also shown watching backstage. Ripley tossed Asuka around a bit until Asuka fought back with some strikes and a dropkick. Asuka used a hip attack outside the ring and Ripley begged off and stalled a bit. Ripley began to control the match after overpowering Asuka. Asuka caught Ripley in an ankle lock with a knee bar, but Ripley powered out. Ripley dropkicked Asuka off the top rope to the floor. [c]
Asuka rallied back with strikes and nailed Ripley with a German suplex for a nearfall. Ripley caught Asuka off the ropes and locked in the Prism Trap. Asuka got out of it and hit Ripley with a Shining Wizard for a two count. Ripley hit Asuka with some strikes and a Northern Lights suplex for a two count. Ripley tried the Riptide, but Asuka reversed into the Asuka Lock. Damage CTRL and Cross were suddenly at ringside. Belair and Bliss came down as well. Ripley was briefly distracted and Asuka kicked her in the head. Asuka locked in an armbar, but Ripley reversed into a pin for a two count. Ripley executed the Riptide for the win.
WINNER: Ripley in 15:00.
-A brawl broke out between Belair, Bliss, Cross, and Damage CTRL. Kai and Sky double-teamed Belair, but Bliss made the save. Belair tossed Cross into the barricade, but Ripley attacked Bliss and Belair. Yim ran down to dispose of Ripley. Damage CTRL attacked Belair, but Asuka dove onto everyone. Referees and officials came down to check on the competitors. Graves and Patrick hyped the Survivor Series card again and recapped the brawl as the show ended.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I did not like this episode. All the matches felt too long and dull. Ideally not the way to head into a Survivor Series with the anticipated return of the War Games match. The crowd started more into the show than the past few crowds, but then died out pretty quickly. By the end they were just sitting on their hands. I can’t blame them because most of the matches and promos felt phoned in. Even with Owens on commentary in the opening match, he lacked the spark that he usually has. The main event was okay, but the lack of heat hurt it. I’m expecting Survivor Series to be a good show despite the weak build, but I thought we’d get a more spirited go-home Raw.