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WWE Raw results, recap, reactions (Jan. 11, 2021): Broken product

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Entertainment is subjective by nature but one thing is fast becoming an objective fact — Monday Night Raw is a terrible program.

A few hours before the show, WWE let us know that Drew McIntyre tested positive for COVID-19. We already knew that he was going to face Randy Orton tonight, so obviously that match was out. We didn’t know the full scope of it at the time, but reports came out of another outbreak throughout wrestling.

It was very clear from this show that things were thrown together in light of this.

I can’t give them crap for COVID-19 affecting the show, but I can give them crap for how they booked this show. It wasn’t their best effort. Wrestlers pulling double duty instead of throwing some faces out we haven’t seen in a while - boo. Why does WWE have an inability to book a creative show on Mondays that is fun to watch with all of the talent they have?

It’s maddening. Again, the pandemic has of course changed many different things on the fly, wrestling and non-wrestling related, but if you’re going to put out a three hour wrestling program, make it exciting to watch. I shouldn’t have Keith Lee breaking a turnbuckle as the only highlight of my night.

Raw is a broken product. I’d like to return this item.

Let’s talk about the main hits and misses of this show. For a full rundown of Raw, check out the live blog by Rev. Claire Elizabeth!


Fireball

Triple H is proud of Randy for murdering someone. That shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. It’s funny because it seems like if you want anything from The Game, you need to play into his biggest insecurity - his manhood. I couldn’t even tell you how many times people over the years have used the “take your balls out of Stephanie’s purse” line.

And yet, it’s like Triple H has heard it for the first time, every single time.

Both had their own promos acknowledging the match later in the night, and then Keith Lee came to Triple H to offer his help since he’s been mentoring and helping him out since getting to WWE. Triple H decided to decline but thanked him, and Keith gave him his leather jacket and got a fist bump.

Turns out that this “match” wasn’t actually a match at all. Not even a referee present for this. Triple H reversed Orton’s table spot and pulled the sledgehammer out from under the ring. As he started getting into the ring, the lights started to go out Fiend style. All of a sudden, the sledgehammer was on fire and the lights went out. Triple H disappeared.

He just… disappeared.

Alexa Bliss appeared behind Orton and flashed her Pain glove. A fireball shot out of her other hand and Orton writhed around in pain to close the show. The last thing we hear - “What has she done to him?!?”

Is it not obvious, you clueless buffoons? Two weeks ago the match was lit and when the cameras stopped rolling, apparently their eyes closed. Have they not seen enough fire in WWE in general (or in their own lives) to know what fire is capable of?

Yes I know it’s WWE fed lines but like… man it makes them so stupid.

So clearly the Fiend/Alexa/Orton stuff was going to continue and that’s fine, but boy how we got there… woof.


Never meet your heroes in person

Drew McIntyre responded to Goldberg’s challenge for the Royal Rumble.

Though he started with a different promo earlier saying very clearly that he has COVID-19 and for people to mask up, socially distance, and be safe. This may have been WWE’s first actual pandemic PSA since this all started.

Drew said last week was a literal dream for him as he respected and saw Goldberg as a hero. He was going to thank the legends on stage before Goldberg knocked on the door. He’s got him all wrong - he’s a firm believer in giving respect.

This was a wonderful promo to sell the match. I still don’t want it, because they’re starting to make us think that Goldberg is going to win because the precious WWE championship has eluded him his whole career.

Sigh.


Coexist

WILL THEY BE ABLE TO COEXIST? Don’t ya just love that trope? Hatred for Miz and Morrison could bring anyone together I guess. Sheamus and Keith isolated Morrison and tossed this dude around like a ragdoll.

All of a sudden Keith Lee charged at Morrison in the corner and broke the top turnbuckle! Hahahaha! That was NOT planned! Keith and Sheamus shared a laugh after that.

After fixing that during the commercial, Morrison and Miz were successful getting Sheamus isolated. Sheamus was finally able to get momentum with an Irish curse backbreaker and tagged Keith. He tossed Miz into Morrison like he was a piece of paper. Keith was getting ready for the Spirit Bomb and Sheamus tagged himself in and Brogue Kicked Morrison to win.

So if you think that that was it, you’d be wrong! Because all the smiles and fist bumps turned into anger and fighting after the silly Triple H promo. They themselves had a match and beat each other up. The SLAPS on Sheamus’ chest by Keith hurt me! Sheamus isolated Keith’s left arm throughout the match to take out the Spirit Bomb. Sheamus had an excellent knee strike and Keith dropped like a sack of potatoes. I love selling like that.

The isolation of the arm didn’t work though, because Keith did the Spirit Bomb anyway for the win. So Keith put out his fist to signify friendship again and Sheamus hugged him instead.

… well okay then. So they never showed us how the happiness broke down between them and then they beat the hell out of each other and that accomplished nothing. Well no, it accomplished time wasting. Leave it to WWE to burn 25 minutes on the same people in back to back matches instead of showcasing the dozens of other talented people on their rosters.


The Rest

Bobby Lashley defeated Riddle / Riddle wins against MVP via DQ

Bro-chachos.

Lashley was smart and had the same strategy as Riddle last week. He mauled Riddle before the bell and when the bell finally rang, Bobby tossed Riddle across the ring. He then threw Riddle to the floor. Riddle got momentum and went on a sprint with a Broetry in motion to the outside, but it wasn’t enough as Bobby was locking in the Hurt Lock after a powerslam.

After that match, Riddle challenged MVP. MVP literally just wrestled in his suit. Lashley tried to interfere and Riddle kicked him, so Lashley got in the ring and caused a DQ. As I said in the opener, this show was just full of unnecessary time wasters like this. There are multiple people that we haven’t seen in weeks that could have gotten some TV time.

T-Bar defeated Xavier Woods

I was confused as to how Kofi’s broken jaw made this match, since New Day have been feuding with The Hurt Business and RETRIBUTION with Ricochet. If COVID-19 had a play in this they could just be transparent! Maybe instead of burning another 10 minutes on Sheamus and Keith Lee they could have done an angle to make this make sense. T-Bar pummeled Xavier for the first 2 minutes and got a near fall on a nice clothesline. Xavier gained some momentum but got distracted by RETRIBUTION distraction. Eyes Wide Shut got T-Bar the victory.

This match was fine, pretty decent even. I’m just confused as to why WWE can’t make sense of things with even a few hours notice. Kofi’s broken jaw had nothing to do with this so it didn’t even need to be mentioned. I don’t even know if that’s legit. I hope it’s not because that would be awful for Kofi.

Lacey Evans defeated Charlotte Flair

You want to make Charlotte a babyface then you definitely have her pummel Lacey Evans every week. Lacey’s character is pretty much the worst. This 1930’s sassy Southern belle crap is not my cup of tea at all. All of a sudden Ric Flair’s music played and I thought “Oh okay that’s smart of Lacey to do a distraction” and no actually Ric Flair strutted out. Uh... okay. Not like there was another COVID-19 outbreak very recently. And then exactly what you think was going to happen happened. Ric helped Lacey win. So we’ll be seeing more of 71 year old immuno-compromised Ric around in Lacey’s corner. Stupid.

Jaxson Ryker defeated Jeff Hardy / Jeff Hardy defeated Elias

Whatever and whatever. Here’s hoping AJ Styles and/or Omos weren’t affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. I was enjoying their feud with these dorks. And it turns out they weren’t. WWE just decided to insert Jeff back with Elias for reasons.

AJ Styles defeated Drew Gulak

Aj was talking to Adam Pearce and Drew Gulak came up to them and declared himself an entrant in the Royal Rumble, but Adam said he can’t just do that so he put them in a match for Drew to be able to get into the Royal Rumble. Gulak had a nice Tiger Driver for a 2 count. A backslide for a 2 count, and then his momentum was halted by a Pele kick. AJ sent him to the outside and then Omos stepped into frame for a great visual. That distracted Gulak enough for AJ to hit the Phenomenal forearm to win. Nice little match here. Really don’t know why they randomly dropped AJ and Elias’... feud? But I was enjoying it. Oh well.

Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler defeated Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke

More dissension teased between Nia and Shayna and please split these two.

Please somebody find Triple H and get him back home to his family.

Grade: D+

What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?