12/5 WWE RAW TV RESULTS: Doucette’s “alt perspective” report on Usos vs. Elias & Riddle tag title match, JBL poker tournament, two triple threat matches

Full results and analysis of WWE Raw

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WWE RAW TV REPORT
DECEMBER 5, 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. AT CAPITOL ONE ARENA
AIRED ON USA
REPORT BY DANNY DOUCETTE, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Commentators: Kevin Patrick, Corey Graves

Ring Announcer: Mike Rome

Patrick announced that Elias was attacked backstage by The Bloodline and his status for the tag title match was uncertain. This occurred about 6:50 P.M. during a commercial break for the preceding program Chicago Fire.

[HOUR ONE]

-The WWE opening signature played followed by the Raw intro package. The inside of the arena was shown and pyro exploded at the top of the stage.

-The Usos’ music hit and Bloodline members Jimmy and Jey Uso, Solo Sikoa, and Sami Zayn walked out to the stage. Patrick noted that The Usos would do anything to keep their place at the top of the mountain. Patrick and Graves threw to a clip from earlier in the day of The Bloodline arriving at the arena. Byron Saxton tried to interview them as Matt Riddle almost ran into them with his scooter. The Usos declared their intention to beat Riddle and Elias live every other team. Elias appeared and asked what all the noise was. Sikoa attacked Elias and The Usos followed suit. They tossed Elias into some steel guardrails. Sami laughed and said he thinks they hurt him.

Back in the ring, Jey told the fans The Bloodline is now in their city. Jimmy said that they had bad news – the tag title match was cancelled. Jimmy said he knows that everyone came to see The Bloodline compete, but on the bright side, Riddle won’t have to get embarrassed and Elias can work on any song he wants to at home. Sami said “bet” in agreement. Jimmy said they will beat any tag team and said they are the ones. Riddle’s music interrupted and he came out to the stage with a microphone. Riddle said that it wasn’t fair that The Bloodline took away Elias first opportunity for WWE gold. Riddle said it wasn’t very Ucey. Sami interrupted Riddle with a series of “yo’s” and said “hold up my dog.” Sami said that Riddle doesn’t determine what is Ucey as he is a certified Uceologist. Sami said he can tell what is or isn’t Ucey. Sami said that Solo is Ucey for destroying Elias. Sami continued, saying that The Usos are Ucey for being the longest reigning tag champions in history. Sami said that Riddle isn’t Ucey for thinking he had a chance against The Bloodline. Sami advised him to turn around and go home before he suffers the same fate as Elias. Riddle said he found a partner to go ahead with the title match. Riddle said he and his new partner aren’t bros, but they both hate The Bloodline. Kevin Owens’ music hit and Owens marched toward the ring

(1) THE USOS (Jimmy & Jey Uso)  (w/Solo Sikoa & Sami Zayn) vs. MATT RIDDLE & KEVIN OWENS – Tag title match

Owens attacked Jey first and hit him with a Senton Splash for a two count. Owens went for a Cannonball Splash in the corner, but Jimmy pulled Jey out of the ring. Owens followed, attacked Jimmy ,and threw Jey into the barricade. [c]

Owens pinned Jimmy for a two count as the show returned from commercial. Riddle got into the match and Jey kicked him in the back of the head from the apron. The Usos beat down on Riddle as Patrick noted that the winner of the match would face Sheamus and Butch on Smackdown as Drew McIntyre had been medically disqualified. Jey took Riddle down with a Samoan Drop into a neckbreaker for a nearfall. [c]

Owens hit Jimmy with a Swanton Bomb for another nearfall. Owens tried a Stunner, blocked a superkick from Jimmy, and hit a superkick of his own. Jimmy leaped out of a Pop-Up Powerbomb attempt and hit Owens with a superkick. Jey and Riddle tagged in simultaneously and the two went at it. Riddle headscissored Jey over the top rope. Riddle took out Solo with a Plancha on the outside. Sami pulled Jey out of the way before he was hit by Riddle. Jey hit Owens with a superkick and Riddle followed up with a knee strike to Jey. Sami briefly distracted Riddle. Back in the ring Jey hit a superkick on Riddle. The Usos followed up with the 1-D for the win.

WINNERS: Usos in 14:00.

– The Bloodline started to beat down Riddle, but Owens ran in with a chair and chased off Sami, Jimmy, and Jey. Riddle was left in the ring with Solo. Solo attacked Riddle and hit him with the Samoan Spike. Solo hit Riddle with a hip attack and placed a chair around his neck. Solo used another hip attack driving the chair into Riddle’s neck. Riddle was left writhing in pain on the mat. E.M.T.’s came out with a stretcher and put Riddle in a neckbrace. [c]

(Doucette’s Analysis: Bloodline segments are always an easy win. Sami was hilarious (no surprise there) and they looked dominant as usual. After so much dissension it’s nice to see them all on the same page. I don’t know if I am supposed to feel that way since they are heels, but I don’t think I am alone. If anything, as Solo showed, all the members being on the same page makes them more effective and dangerous. Solo looks pretty scary after his attacks on Elias and Riddle as well. It will be interesting to see how his character develops. I thought Riddle would get Ezekiel to be his partner. Not a bad idea, huh?) 

-Patrick hyped the triple threat matches. One match would feature Becky Lynch, Nikki Cross, and Alexa Bliss. The other would pit Rhea Ripley, Bayley, and Asuka. The winners of both matches would face each other next week for a opportunity to face Bianca Belair for a future Raw title match.

-Ripley and The Judgment Day was backstage. Ripley said that Asuka and Bayley were talented, but they’re not her. Finn Balor, Damian Priest, and Dominik Mysterio chuckled. Ripley said the whole women’s division will call her mommy. Ripley high-fived Priest and headed to the ring.

-Graves asked how anyone can bet against Ripley. Patrick then threw to a recap of the tag title match. The aftermath of Solo’s attack on Riddle and showed him being wheeled out on a stretcher. Patrick said it was reminiscent of The Bloodline’s attack that took out Randy Orton.

-Graves and Patrick threw to footage of the backstage area where JBL was hosting the poker tournament. Baron Corbin, The O.C., Shelton Benjamin, Akira Tozawa, Tamina, and Dominik were among the wrestlers there. JBL laid out the rules (and said nobody likes Tozawa). Dexter Lumis and Johnny Gargano walked in. Lumis still had The Miz’s bag of money from last week. JBL insulted Lumis and Gargano. He compared Lumis to Jason Voorhees and made fun of Gargano’s height. JBL said he doubted that Lumis had the $50,000 buy-in for the tournament since he just signed a WWE contract. Lumis poured stacks of money onto the table. The wrestlers in attendance cheered as JBL excitedly invited him to join in.

-Bayley made her way to the ring for the first triple threat match. Becky’s voice could be heard over the speakers. Bayley entered through the crowd with a microphone. Bayley said she was at the merchandise stand reminiscing on beating up Damage CTRL last week. Bayley grabbed a mic and told Becky to hurry up. Becky said that it’s been three years since they faced each other one-on-one. Becky praised Bayley for carrying the company during the Thunderdome era. Bayley said that none of the matters and it’s time to focus on the present. Bayley said that when Becky is around, everything is all about her. Bayley said Becky doesn’t care about the fans, but she cares for everyone and the WWE. Bayley said that the fans have no respect for what she tries to do. The fans chanted for Becky. Becky said that two-thirds of Damage CTRL has been successful with two champions and a loser. Becky said she wanted to go one-on-one with Bayley again if she’s woman enough to face “The Man”.

Becky exited toward the stage as Ripley made her entrance. Becky faced off with Ripley and the two exchanged words that weren’t picked up on the audio. The two stared each other down intensely for minutes until Ripley continued to the ring. [c]

(Doucette’s Analysis: There’s two matches I would enjoy seeing in one segment. This was a great job to build to both of them. The Becky-Ripley staredown was epic. I reiterate my point from last week that Becky was sorely missed. It’s good to have her back in the fold.)

-Asuka made her entrance to the ring after the commercial break.

(2) BAYLEY vs. RHEA RIPLEY vs. ASUKA

Asuka dropkicked Bayley right after the bell. Ripley tossed Bayley out of the ring and suplexed Asuka for a two count. Patrick noted that Dominik said in an interview that Ripley would have one the War Games match for her team had it not been for Asuka’s Green Mist. Ripley dominated the match, but Asuka and Bayley began to work together. They tossed Ripley into the ring post and then faced off with each other. Asuka shoulderblocked Bayley and tried a hip attack, but Bayley pulled her outside. As the two brawled, Ripley hit them with a senton from the ring apron. [c]

Bayley and Ripley were briefly working together, but Asuka fought back. Asuka hit Ripley with a Codebreaker for a two count. Asuka hit both Bayley and Ripley with Bryan Danielson-esque kicks to the chest.

[HOUR TWO]

Bayley tried to get Ripley to assist her again, but Ripley declared she wasn’t a Damage CTRL member to be bossed around. Bayley tried to hit Ripley from behind, but Ripley choked her. Bayley grabbed Ripley’s hair and they traded punches.Asuka dropkicked both Bayley and Ripley and got nearfalls on each of them. Asuka grabbed the Asuka Lock on Bayley, but Ripley broke it up. Asuka put Ripley in an armbar, but Bayley broke it up with a top-rope elbow drop for a two count. Bayley hit the Bayley-to-Belly on Asuka, but Ripley broke up the pin at two. Ripley hit Bayley with a Northern Lights Suplex for another nearfall. Ripley took out Asuka with an Electric Chair Drop for another two count. Ripley tried a senton from the ring stairs on Bayley, but Bayley moved out of the way.  Bayley got bak into the ring and ducked a kick from Asuka. Bayley tried another Bayley-to-Belly, but Asuka rolled her up for a two count. Asuka missed a dropkick from the second rope and Bayley hit the Roseplant for the win.

WINNER: Bayley in 15:00.

-Ripley attacked Asuka after the match as Bayley left the ring. Ripley took out Asuka with the Riptide.

(Doucette’s Analysis: Very good match. I’m surprised at the result, though. I guess we have to wait a bit longer for the Ripley-Belair match. When the title match will take place seemed to be intentionally vague, so I wonder if it will be at Royal Rumble or are there plans to have it elsewheere?)

-Seth Rollins was shown dancing backstage as he made his way to the ring. [c]

-Patrick read a tweet from McIntyre promising the fans he would be back after being medically disqualified from the upcoming tag title match on Smackdown. A graphic was shown for the match between Usos and Butch/Sheamus.

-Rollins came out to the ring as Patrick hyped a number one contender’s match for the U.S. title between Rollins and Bobby Lashley set for next week. Rollins welcomed the fans to “Monday Night Rollins”. Rollins said he has some things to say to Lashley, but he’s not out there. Rollins encouraged the fans to sing his song until Lashley’s music hit. Lashley came out to the ring in a suit and sunglasses. The fans chanted for Lashley. Lashley asked Rollins what he has to say to him and told him to be careful. Rollins said Lashley hasn’t been the same since losing to Brock Lesnar at Crown Jewel. Rollins asked if Lashley is scared of Lesnar. Lashley accused Rollins of trying to get under his skin. Rollins said that if Lashley isn’t scared, he’s jealous of Lesnar. Rollins said that Lesnar had the career Lashley wishes he had. Lashley grabbed Rollins by his collar and said this is about the U.S. title. Rollins said that if Lashley doesn’t get his head right, it will be easier to beat him next week than it was the first time. Lashley hit Rollins and the two began to brawl. The fight then spilled outside the ring. Referees and officials broke up the fight, but Rollins broke free and jumped on Lashley. The fight was stopped again, but then Lashley broke free and charged Rollins. Lashley speared Pete Williams, one of the producers, when Rollins moved out of the way. Rollins escaped from the ring

-Austin Theory was interviewed by Saxton backstage. Theory said Rollins and Lashley are two champions of the past and fighting over scraps. Theory said the business has evolved and forgotten about them. Theory said his reign is just beginning. Mustafa Ali was standing nearby smirking when Theory turned around. Ali said Theory loves writing checks he can’t cash in. Ali quipped that  Theory probably doesn’t like hearing the phrase “cash in”. Theory said Ali just gets beat down all the time and asked him why he doesn’t quit. Ali said he’s not like him and he keeps fighting. Ali said and he’ll keep fighting until he gets the U.S. title. Theory offered to give him a U.S. title match later in the night, but never wants to hear Ali talk about opportunities ever again.

(Doucette’s Analysis: I’m with you there, Austin. I assume Ali’s not winning, so maybe a change from his annoying current character is coming? Theory looks great again here. His intensity feels genuine and he exudes less immature cockiness and more confidence.) [c]

-Back at the poker tournament, Chad Gable, Luke Gallows, Lumis, and Corbin were playing. Gable tried to fold and Gallows said Gable was scared. Gallows and Gable traded catchphrases until Corbin told them to shut up. Corbin said he thought Lumis was bluffing. Lumis had the better cards and won. Corbin accused Lumis of cheating and Corbin was about to threaten Lumis until Lumis put an axe on the table. At the other table, Dominik and Tozawa started to have words. Dominik said he gets what he wants and Tozawa is as short as his deadbeat dad, Rey Mysterio. JBL told them that there was no fighting during the tournament and told them to take it outside. Tozawa said he’d see Dominik in the ring.

(3) AUSTIN TEHORY vs. MUSTAFA ALI – U.S. title match

Ali dropkicked Theory to the outside and hit a dive. Theory tossed Ali into the ring post and then into the barricade. [c]

Back from the commercial, Ali and Theory traded punches. Ali hit another kick and a rolling neckbreaker. Ali nailed a Backstabber for a nearfall. Ali tried a Frankensteiner in the corner and it looked like Theory was going to reverse it, but there was a miscommunication and the two fell onto the mat. Ali landed a Satellite DDT for a nearfall. Theory tripped Ali as he went to the top rope. Ali was caught in the ropes and  Theory stomped him. Dolph Ziggler ran in and superkicked Theory for the disqualification.

WINNER: Theory by DQ in 9:00.

-Ali demanded answers from Ziggler and the two argued. Theory hit Ziggler from behind and took out Ali in the process. Theory tossed Ali hard into the ring post. Theory hit Ziggler with A-Town Down and raised the U.S. title as the fans booed.

(Doucette’s Analysis: We’re still doing this Dolph Ziggler thing, huh? I know the last match ended in a DQ and beatdown, but I don’t think anyone is clamoring for a Ziggler/Theory rematch. It’d be more intriguing if they have a match where if Ziggler loses he has to get a makeover. I continue to feel bad for Ali, who despite all his talent, just can’t seem to get a break. The plucky babyface role may need to be scrapped. After seeing how annoying he can be, just lean in and make him a whiny heel.)

-Backstage, JBL was on the phone talking about the success of his tournament. Miz approached JBL and asked why he wasn’t invited to the tournament. JBL said he could join mid-game by paying the $50,000 fee. Miz said he didn’t have liquid cash, but assured JBL he was good for it. JBL was cautious considering Miz’s history of not paying off debts. Miz offered JBL his Rolex as collateral, but JBL said it was fake. Miz looked appalled and backed away.

(Doucette’s Analysis: I actually found this funny and a decent way to get something out of a terrible storyline.)

-Back at the poker tournament, A.J. Styles and Corbin got into an argument about the game. JBL yelled at them to not fight during the tournament, so Styles challenged Corbin to match and told him to bring Gable and Otis. Since everyone left, Lumis was left by himself. Gargano asked the dealer if that means they won. Lumis and Gargano took the money.

-Patrick and Graves recapped Bayley’s win earlier in the night. Cathy Kelley interviewed Belair about the match. Belair said that Bayley’s win was impressive, but she can beat her again. Belair criticized Ripley for beating down Asuka after the match. Belair called Cross a wildcard and praised Bliss and Becky. Belair assured no matter who wins, she stays ready.

-The O.C. made their way to the ring to face Corbin, Gable, and Otis in a six-man tag match. [c]

[HOUR THREE]

-Patrick and Graves recapped the tag title match from earlier and Solo’s attack on Riddle afterwards. New footage of Riddle being loaded into an ambulance was shown.

(Doucette’s Analysis: Not that I necessarily hope that Riddle goes away, he’s a valuable commodity, but I hope the injury is sold for longer than a week or two. It would get Solo over as a real beast and give Riddle higher profile feud.)

-The O.C. was still in the ring and JBL came out to the stage first. JBL introduced Corbin and was then joined by Otis and Gable.

(4) THE O.C. (A.J. Styles, Luke Gallows, & Karl Anderson) (w/Mia Yim) vs. BARON CORBIN & ALPHA ACADEMY (Chad Gable & Otis) (w/JBL)

Corbin and Styles started things off. Corbin started off with an advantage, but Styles fought back. During a flurry of offense, Styles knocked Gable and Otis off the apron. Gable pulled down the top rope and Styles went to the floor. Otis ran over Styles as Gable celebrated. [c]

Corbin and Alpha Academy ganged up on Styles, until Styles made the tag to Anderson. Anderson got a nearfall on Gable from a neckbreaker. JBL compared Gable’s brains to Plato while Graves compared Anderson brain to Play-Doh. Otis got the better of Gallows, but Styles hit Otis went a Phenomenal Forearm. Gable suplexed Styles, but Anderson hit Gable with an uppercut. Gallows pushed Anderson out of a suplex attempt by Gable. Gallows and Anderson hit the Magic Killer for the win.

WINNER: The O.C. in 14:00.

(Doucette’s Analysis: I could’ve done without this match. It was just a time-killer. It picked up near the end, but was still pointless. A few quick one-on-one matches to push some key talent would’ve been a better use of 14 minutes. Corbin’s gear still bothers me and, if I’m not mistaken, he had the audacity to get another color scheme done!)

-JBL complained about the loss as The O.C. celebrated.

-Bliss was warming up backstage as Bray Wyatt’s symbol popped up on a monitor behind her. Patrick noted that she had not seen singles success in four years. [c]

-Saxton interviewed Candice LeRae backstage. Saxton congratulated LeRae for winning next week, but she will have to face Iyo Sky next week. Saxton asked if LeRae feels like a marked woman by Damage CTRL. LeRae said she does feel that way, but as a new mom, she has something to fight for. Gargano and Lumis walked up and showed LeRae their poker winnings. LeRae was shocked as she looked into the bag and they said they needed to leave.

(Doucette’s Analysis: Was this an intentionally awkward segment? Gargano and LeRae addressing each other as “wife” and “hubby” was cringe-worthy. Lumis was my favorite person in the segment because he didn’t speak.) 

-Tozawa was already in the ring as Dominik came to the ring accompanied by the rest of Judgment Day. Graves exaggeratedly touted Dominik’s sex appeal as they entered.

(5) AKIRA TOZAWA vs. DOMINIK MYSTERIO (w/Damian Priest, Finn Balor, & Rhea Ripley)

Tozawa took Dominik down earlier until Tozawa missed a charged into the turnbuckle. Dominik went for the Three Amigos for a nearfall. Tozawa fought back and hit a Shining Wizard for a two count. Tozawa missed a top rope senton. Dominik followed up with a Frog Splash for the win.

WINNER: Dominik in 3:00.

-Dominik went to attack Tozawa after the match, but The Street Profits ran in for the save. Judgment Day left the ring before any physicality ensued.

(Doucette’s Analysis: This was a better use of time here. Dominik gets a nice, quick win and a new program is set up. Graves’ over-the-top hyping of Dominik was pretty great as well. Short, but effective stuff.)

-Becky was putting on her entrance gear backstage in preparation her upcoming match. [c]

-The brawl between Rollins and Lashley was recapped. Lashley was leaving the building as Adam Pearce approached Lashley. Pearce warned Lashley that he cannot hurt WWE staff. Lashley asked if Pearce would blame a lion for attacking someone that comes into the lion’s den. Pearce said if it happens again he will be forced to take action. Lashley was not happy about this and told Pearce to keep his staff out of the way.

(Doucette’s Analysis: I liked Lashley’s demeanor and the lion’s den analogy. He has been effective post-Crown Jewel as an unstoppable force of nature.)

-A graphic for the Sky versus LeRae match for next week was shown.

-Bliss made her entrance and Cross was next. [c]

(6) ALEXA BLISS vs. NIKKI CROSS vs. BECKY LYNCH

Cross slammed her trenchcoat repeatedly on the mat after the bell. Bliss took Cross out and she and Becky faced off. Becky tried to go for the Disarmer earlier, but Bliss got out and the two traded pins. Bliss tried to go for Sister Abigail, but Becky got out. Cross came back in and attacked Bliss and Becky with splashes in the corner. As Becky and Bliss battled again, Cross pulled Becky out and threw her into the ring stairs. Bliss tried a Tornado DDT, but Cross used a Corkscrew Suplex to take her out. Cross cleared the announce desk and poured water on herself. [c]

The competitors engaged in a superplex/powerbomb combination in the corner. Becky made the pin on Cross for a nearfall. Cross rallied back and tried a crossbody from the top rope, but Bliss broke it up. Sky and Dakota Kai ran in and attacked Becky after Becky delivered a Manhandle Slam to Cross on the apron. Kai and Sky powerbombed Becky through the announce desk. Back in the ring, Bliss hit Twisted Bliss on Cross for the win.

WINNER: Bliss in 17:00.

-Patrick and Graves hyped the match between Bliss and Bayley next week for the Raw title shot. Bliss celebrated in the ring as the show ended.

FINAL THOUGHTS: This show was mostly good with some minor “blah” sprinkled in. I do feel like next week’s Raw was built to nicely, which is still a pleasant surprise after years of that almost never happening. The Bloodline, Becky, and Theory shined. However, we still got Ali going nowhere, JBL and Corbin, and Ziggler’s tri-weekly appearance to do nothing of importance. This show was fine, but it may be a rough stretch with so much time until the Royal Rumble.

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