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WWE RAW TV REPORT
DECEMBER 5, 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. AT CAPITAL ONE ARENA
AIRED LIVE ON USA
Commentators: Kevin Patrick, Corey Graves
Ring Announcer: Mike Rome
-The Raw opening aired. Kevin Patrick introduced the show as the camera panned the crowd.
-The Usos began their ring entrance. They cut to a video from earlier of The Bloodline arriving in a black SUV. Sami was especially jubilant. As Byron Saxton approached them for an interview, Matt Riddle scootered by them. When Elias showed up, Solo Sikoa attacked him. He threw him into a rack of metal barricades. Sami said with a smile and a giggle, “Oh, damn, I think he’s hurt!”
Back live in the ring, Jey said, “The Bloodline is now in your city!” Jimmy said the tag team championship match is officially cancelled because Solo beat up Elias in the parking lot. Fans booed. Jimmy said the bright side is Riddle doesn’t have to be humiliated tonight and Elias can work on his music. Jimmy said their focus is on being the best tag team ever. He said every other tag team in the locker room are the twos and they’re the ones. Riddle’s music interrupted.
Riddle came out onto the stage in flip-flops and said it wasn’t cool of them to take out his partner Elias earlier. He said this was Elias’s first chance to win gold. He said it wasn’t very Ucey of them. Sami said it’s not Ucey of Riddle to think he could end the reign of the Usos. He told him to turn around and go home.
Riddle said he did find a new tag team partner and there will be a tag team championship match tonight after all. He said he and his partner aren’t bros and don’t really get along, but he doesn’t like The Bloodline either. Kevin Owens’ music then played. Patrick said KO said he’s done with Sami, but he didn’t say he is done with The Bloodline. KO and Riddle marched to the ring as a referee kept them from going after the Usos. Corey Graves said The Bloodline taking Elias out of the match might have made things worse for themselves.
(Keller’s Analysis: This is an upgrade in the match, but it leaves behind weeks of the backstory of Riddle and Elias being pals.)
(1) JEY & JIMMY USO (w/Sami Zayn, Solo Sikoa) vs. MATT RIDDLE & KEVIN OWENS – Undisputed WWE Tag Team Title match
A minute in, Jimmy pulled Jey to safety before KO could land his cannonball in the corner. KO went after the Usos at ringside. He let out a big yell as they cut to an early break. [c]
KO landed a cannonball against Jimmy in the corner and scored a two count coming out of the break. Riddle tagged in. Jimmy kicked him from behind on the ring apron, then tagged in and worked over Riddle. They cut to another break a few minutes later. [c]
Back from the break, KO landed a top rope swanton on Jimmy for a near fall. Jimmy blocked a KO stunner, but KO went for a Pop Up Powerbomb instead. Jimmy leaped over KO and connected with a superkick. Riddle and Jey each hot-tagged in. Riddle head scissored a charging Jey over the top rope to the floor. Sami helped Jey stand as Solo and KO had a staredown. Riddle then slingshot himself onto Solo. Jey superkicked KO. Riddle kicked Jey and threw him back into the ring. Riddle backed Sami away, then re-entered the ring. Jey caught Riddle with a superkick and then the Usos gave their 1D finisher to Riddle for the win.
WINNERS: The Usos in 14:00 to retain the WWE Tag Titles.
-Afterward, the Usos double-teamed Riddle with stomps. KO made the save with a chair and chased them to the back. That left Solo in the ring with Riddle. Solo kicked and punched away at a vulnerable Riddle. He then drove his thumb into Riddle’s throat with a Samoan Spike. He followed with a hip attack that really didn’t make contact with Riddle. Solo grabbed a chair from ringside and put Riddle’s head in. Solo then backed off before charging full speed at Riddle with another hip attack into the chair. Graves called for some help. Patrick called for security.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good match, as you’d expect with those four. The post-match angle continues to firmly frame The Bloodline as traditional heels despite crowds popping for Sami and some of their catchphrases.) [c]
-Graves hyped upcoming matches on the show.
-The Judgment Day stood backstage. Rhea Ripley talked about her Triple Threat match later and said she’ll win and move on to unseat Bianca Belair as champion. She said everyone in the back will be calling her “mami.” She whispered something to Dominik Mysterio and he smiled.
-The announcers commented on clips of the opening match and post-match angle. They showed Riddle being stretchered out with his neck in a brace.
-Backstage, JBL oversaw his backstage poker tournament. He told Tozawa that nobody likes him. Dominik, Baron Corbin, Otis, and Chad Gable laughed. JBL said poker is a gentleman’s game. He detailed the rules. Dexter Lumis and Johnny Gargano showed up. JBL told Dexter he didn’t invite him. He told Dexter to go stare at someone uncomfortably outside because he probably doesn’t have the money. Dexter dumped out a bag of cash. JBL welcomed him to the game with enthusiasm.
-Bayley made her ring entrance. Becky Lynch walked to the ring through the crowd. Becky talked about how they kept missing each other. Bayley said everyone knows their history, but she wants to move on to win a Triple Threat match so she can get a title shot against Belair. Bayley said the past doesn’t matter. She said she interrupted her magic by joining WarGames. She said the difference between her and Becky is that when she’s there, Becky makes everything about herself. Fans chanted “Becky! Becky!” Bayley said the fans just make it worse. She said she, unlike Becky, cares about everyone. Bayley said she cares about all of WWE, whereas Becky just thinks of herself. She yelled at the fans for not appreciating her.
Becky said Damage CTRL have been successful. She said actually just two-thirds successful, because there are two champions and one loser. She wished Bayley luck later so they can then go one-on-one “if you’re woman enough to face The Man.” Becky dropped the mic and left.
As Ripley made her ring entrance, Becky stood by and watched. Graves said that could be a match next week on Raw if they each win their respective triple threat matches. They had a staredown in the aisle as the ref encouraged Ripley to just make her way to the ring. Ripley and Becky locked eyes even as Ripley took a step toward the ring.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good segment with Becky immensely more likable than Bayley while still having some edge. The Ripley-Becky staredown was a simple, effective visual to build anticipation for their eventual match.)
(2) BAYLEY vs. RHEA RIPLEY vs. ASUKA – Triple Threat to advance to single match to earn title shot
Bayley and Asuka brawled at ringside a few minutes in. Ripley then flipped off of the ring apron onto both of them as they cut to a break at 4:00. [c]
Back from the break, Asuka took control, landing moves on both Ripley and Bayley leading to a two count on Ripley.
Ripley broke up an Asukalock on Bayley at 12:00. Ripley went after Bayley at ringside, but Bayley avoided her flip dive off the steps. With Ripley writhing in pain at ringside, Asuka and Bayley battled one-on-one in the ring. Bayley swatted aside a top rope dropkick by Asuka and then hit the Roseplant for the win.
WINNER: Bayley in 16:00.
-Afterward, Ripley re-entered the ring and attacked Asuka including a Riptide. She kept favoring her right shoulder which had a cut on it.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good match. Hard work by everyone. Nice clean finish.)
-They showed Seth Rollins backstage. [c]
-The announcers commented on a graphic showing Drew McIntyre’s tweet that he isn’t medically cleared to wrestle Friday for the tag titles. He said he’ll be back soon. Graves said instead Sheamus will team with Butch against the Usos for the belts.
-Seth made his ring entrance as fans sang along to his entrance theme. Patrick plugged Seth vs. Bobby Lashley next week on Raw to earn a U.S. Title match. Graves said Seth is out there “with so much drip” it might not even be legal. Seth welcomed everyone to Monday Night Rollins. He went into spiel and fans yelled “Seth Freakin’ Rollins” when prompted. He talked about facing Lashley next week on Raw. Lashley’s music interrupted and he walked out onto the stage.
Lashley asked Seth what he’d like to say to him. Seth said he hasn’t been the same since Crown Jewel when he lost to Brock Lesnar. Seth said, “There’s no shame in losing to Brock Lesnar; we’ve all been there.” He asked if he’s scared of Brock. He said he’s probably a little bit bigger and stronger than him. Lashley said he’s just trying to rattle him. Seth said if he’s not scared of Brock, he must be jealous of Brock. He said Brock is a bigger star than him with more title reigns than him. He said if he doesn’t get his head and temper right, beating him next week will be easier for him than it was the last time. Lashley punched Seth. Seth got up and fought back. Adam Pearce and referees and other officials pried them apart. They broke free and were separated again. Lashley ended up spearing producer Petey Williams. Pearce yelled up at him in anger as he checked on Petey.
-Saxton backstage approached Austin Theory who was in the background. (Love this change in production technique, having the announcer approach the wrestler on camera instead of that awkward filming of a wrestler for no apparent reason until an interviewer accosts them from off screen.) Saxton asked for his thoughts on what happened with Lashley and Seth. Theory said what he saw was the past – two former champions fighting over scraps and they’ve failed to realize the business has moved on to him and it’s his time. “The forever is just beginning,” he said. Mustafa Ali showed up and said Theory just loves writing checks he can’t cash. Theory said he’s annoying and he constantly whines and complains about opportunities and gets beat down. He said he should just quit. Ali said he isn’t like him because he has to actually fight for every opportunity he gets. He said he’ll get back up and back in his face and become U.S. Champion. Theory said he’ll face him tonight, but then after he beats him, he doesn’t want to hear the word “opportunity” come out of his mouth again.
-A commercial aired for the Ric Flair documentary on the WWE Network hub on Peacock. It premieres Dec. 26. [c]
-Back to the poker game, Gable folded. The O.C. joined the game. Gable said poker is knowing when to walk away. He and Luke Gallows yelled at each other. Dexter had, as expected, a great poker face. Corbin said he can read Dexter’s eyes and he’s calling his bluff. Dexter revealed three aces and two jacks. JBL accused him of being a cheater. Dexter produced an axe and he placed it on the table. Over at the other table, Tozawa was taking on Dana Brooke, Tamina, Shelton Benjamin, and Dominik. Dominik and Tozawa argued. When they stood, Dominik said Tozawa is “almost as short as my dead-beat dad.” JBL said they should take it outside.
(3) AUSTIN THEORY vs. MUSTAFA ALI – U.S. Title match
As Theory came out first, Patrick said Theory wants to shut up Ali once and for all, and he’s willing to put his U.S. Title on the line to accomplish that. Graves said Theory is living up to the hype. Graves said Ali is always “game,” a word which when applied to a wrestler by a commentator is indicative of their likelihood of losing. Graves said this version of Theory will be a force in WWE for years to come, but Ali lives to be a disruptor. Ali dove onto Theory at ringside a minute in. He played to the crowd. Theory tossed a charging Ali into the ringpost and then head-first into the ringside barricade. They cut to a break at 2:00 as Theory asked how he was feeling. [c]
Ali landed a neckbreaker as he rallied after the break. He landed a back stabber for a two count. They battled on the top turnbuckle. Ali went for a huracanrana out of the corner that was botched badly. They were both okay. Graves called it a car crash scenario. Ali landed a DDT for a near fall. Theory hung Ali upside down in the corner and punched away at him. Dolph Ziggler then charged in and superkicked Theory. The ref called for the bell.
WINNER: Theory via DQ in 8:00.
-Ali sat up and was upset. He looked over at Ziggler and spun him around. Ziggler shoved Ali. Ziggler told him not to touch him and said he did it “for all of us.” (Huh?) Theory jumped Ziggler from behind. Then he threw Ali shoulder-first into the ringpost. He turned back to Ziggler and delivered a A-Town Down.
-Miz approached JBL and asked why he wasn’t invited to his poker game. JBL said it’s a 50 dime buy in. Miz said after some recent events, he’s low on liquid cash. “You know how the crypto market is,” he said. He said he’s good for it and tried to enter the room. JBL blocked him and said everyone is required to pay cash. Miz offered his Rolex. JBL asked Miz if he knows it’s not real. Miz looked offended or hurt and walked away. [c]
-Back to the poker game, Corbin produced four kings. When he reached for chips, more cards fell out of his sleeve. Styles called him a cheater. Corbin said he didn’t know where they came from. They argued. Corbin shoved Styles. Styles shoved back. JBL yelled that they’re barbarians and are ruining his tournament. He said no fighting in his room. Styles challenged Corbin, Gable, and Otis to a six-man tag match. Dexter threw a wad of cash to the dealer as a tip. Gargano then held open his bag so they could load up their cash.
-They went back to Graves and Patrick. They threw to a clips of the earlier Triple Threat match.
-Cathy Kelley interviewed Belair backstage. She said she’ll be proud to defend against any of the women in the Triple Threat matches. She said she stays ready so she doesn’t have to get ready.
-The O.C. made their ring entrance. [c]
-They showed Riddle being loaded into an ambulance earlier in the show. Patrick said they’d have updates on his condition later. Graves said he hopes it’s not too serious.
(4) OTIS & CHAD GABLE & BARON CORBIN (w/JBL) vs. THE O.C. (A.J. Styles & Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows)
JBL said he’d love to have the APA fight Gallows & Anderson back in the day. They cut to a break at 6:00. [c]
The pace kicked up a gear at 14:00. Otis overhead tossed Gallows. Styles then caught him with a Phenomenal Forearm. Gable then gave Styles a German suplex. Gable rolled up Anderson for a near fall a second later. Gallows and Anderson double-teamed Gable and executed a Magic Killer for the win. JBL said that was like cheating in cards. He was outraged that the ref stood by and watched the double-team. “What are the people cheering for?” he exclaimed.
WINNERS: The O.C. in 15:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good action. Felt largely like a time-filler match.)
-Alexa Bliss was shown warming up backstage. Her Lilly doll was hanging next to her on some equipment. The Bray Wyatt imagery flashed on a monitor behind her. [c]
-They showed postcard shots of D.C.
-Saxton interviewed Candice LeRae backstage. He congratulated her on her win over Dakota Kai last week. He said now she is scheduled to face Iyo Sky next week on Raw. Saxton asked if she feels like a marked woman by Damage CTRL. LeRae said she’s new to Raw, but she’s known those women for a long time. She said she’s a new mom and she has so much to fight for now and she won’t let anybody push her around. Gargano and Dexter walked up to her. Gargano said they won. She gasped at the bag of money. Graves said the relationship with Dexter, Gargano, and LeRae seems strange, “like something you’d see on Backpage.”
(5) AKIRA TOZAWA vs. DOMINIK MYSTERIO (w/Rhea Ripley, Finn Balor, Damian Priest)
Graves said Dominik is the Pete Davidson of WWE “if you know what I mean.” Dominik avoided a top rope senton. Then he leaped off the top rope with a frog splash for the win.
WINNER: Dominik in 2:00.
-When Dominik was going to attack Tozawa afterward, the Street Profits ran out. The Judgement Day bailed out and walked up the ramp.
(Keller’s Analysis: Quick and easy way to give Dominik a win on TV and allowed fans to get worked up about the Ripley-Dominik dynamic.)
-They showed Becky getting warmed up backstage. [c]
-They aired clips of the Seth-Lashley brawl earlier.
-Pearce approached Lashley backstage. He said he damn near cut one of their officials in half. He said it can’t happen. He said he knows it wasn’t done on purpose, but if it happens again, there will be ramifications. He said his hands are tied. Lashley didn’t like it and told Pearce to be sure nobody else stands in his way.
-They went to Graves and Patrick who hyped next week’s Raw with Seth vs. Lashley to earn a U.S. Title match, plus LeRae vs. Sky and Bayley vs. the winner of this week’s main event.
-Bliss’s ring entrance took place. Nikki Cross then made her entrance. Graves acknowledged that those two were close at one time. [c]
(6) BECKY LYNCH vs. NIKKI CROSS vs. ALEXA BLISS – Triple Threat to advance to single match to earn title shot
Becky’s entrance aired after the break. Several minutes in, Nikki rammed Becky into the ringside steps. She then blocked a Bliss tornado DDT and gave her a neckbreaker on the floor. They cut to a break as Nikki was clearing the announce desk. [c]
Nikki had Bliss grounded after the break. Becky was still out at ringside. Graves said he’s been critical lately of Bliss’s lack of sense of urgency in matches. She rallied against Becky. Nikki intervened. Becky then re-entered the ring and powerbombed them off the top rope. Becky covered Nikki and scored a near fall. Bliss was still down. Becky tried to chokeslam Nikki off the ring apron, but Nikki held onto the top rope. Nikki then set up a piledriver, but Becky resisted and then Manhandle Slammed Nikki on the edge of the ring. Sky and Kai ran out and yanked Becky out of the ring. They powerbombed her onto the announce desk. Bliss then landed Twisted Bliss on Cross for the win.
WINNER: Bliss in 17:00