Raw airs tonight (Nov. 29) with a live show from the UBS Arena at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. This is the second Raw episode during the six week build towards Day 1 on January 1, 2022.
Finn Bálor will never be a top star in WWE
Did you notice that WWE protected every top star from taking a pin in the Survivor Series elimination matches? Kevin Owens walked out of the match rather than take a pin fall. Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley were simultaneously counted out while getting carried away brawling. Sasha Banks was counted out because her teammates are idiots who apparently wanted to have a worse chance of winning their match.
Many of these eliminations were lame and disappointing to witness, as they are every year when this happens at Survivor Series. But the point remains, WWE went out of its way to avoid having the top stars take pins.
Except for Finn Bálor. That’s because Finn Bálor is not a top star. Bálor was pinned by Sheamus at Survivor Series. He was pinned by Kevin Owens two weeks ago on Raw. He was pinned by Xavier Woods at Crown Jewel. He fell off the top rope and was pinned by Roman Reigns at Extreme Rules. Finn Bálor isn’t on the main roster to be a top guy; he’s there to put over the top guys.
Bálor disappeared from the main roster for a year and half to rejuvenate himself on NXT. But he’s the same old Finn Bálor from before now that’s he’s back on Raw, except now he’s 40 years old. This doesn’t mean he has a bad spot on the roster. Most wrestlers in WWE would trade places with him in a second, because he regularly gets to mix it up with the top stars like Roman Reigns, John Cena, Seth Rollins, and so forth. But any of Finn’s fans who were hoping that his second run on the main roster would go differently than his first have to see the writing on the wall here. He is never going to be a top star in WWE, not as long as Vince McMahon determines who gets those spots.
Bálor was laid out by Seth Rollins last week, and they are scheduled for a singles match tonight. Considering that Seth is the number one contender for the WWE championship, it must be time for Finn to put over another top star.
The title scene
WWE champion Big E recovered from his loss at Survivor Series by successfully defending his title against Austin Theory in the main event of last week’s episode of Raw. After the match was over, Big E put Seth Rollins down with the Big Ending. Kevin Owens ran away from the chaos, but he won’t be able to avoid Big E’s wrath tonight. It’s Big E vs. Kevin Owens in a non-title match on Raw.
Raw women’s champion Becky Lynch may have given the people what they wanted when she conquered Charlotte Flair at Survivor Series, but last week’s promo made it clear that Lynch is still firmly a heel. She called out WWE fans as hypocrites for always saying they want to see something fresh and new, but then chanting and singing nonsense while 10 women in an elimination match at Survivor Series were busting their asses trying to prove themselves. At the same time, Lynch can’t really blame the fans for reacting like that because none of those women are at her level. Becky eventually ran her mouth a little too much at Liv Morgan, saying she always underdelivers and is a loser, so Morgan dropped Big Time Becks with a forearm shot. No date has been announced yet for Morgan’s upcoming title match against Lynch.
Raw tag team champions RK-Bro are dominating the Raw tag team division, mostly because Omos doesn’t challenge them to a 1-on-2 handicap match. After some strategic disagreements popped up between Randy Orton and
Matt Riddle, the Original Bro decided to cosplay as Randy last week. It worked out well, as Riddle used the RKO to beat Dolph Ziggler. It’s not clear which team will challenge RK-Bro for the titles at Day 1.
Apollo Crews has his eyes set on Damian Priest’s United States championship, but he’s patiently waiting for the right time to fight for it. I’m not sure there will be a right time considering Priest is more vicious than ever with his new split personality.
Carmella and Zelina Vega are the new Women’s tag team champions after they isolated Nikki A.S.H. and pinned her last week. Rhea Ripley is better off as a singles wrestler than sticking around as Nikki’s teammate, but the former champs will probably get a rematch for the titles before they go their separate ways.
Dana Brooke defeated Cedric Alexander to become the new 24/7 champion last week. Does this mean the 24/7 title will now be taking a tour through the lower card of the women’s roster, or will R-Truth and the usual gang of jobbers still be aggressively pursuing the belt?
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Part-timer Edge is returning to Raw tonight, presumably to set up his next feud. There are a few heels who could be potential next opponents for the Rated R Superstar, including Kevin Owens, Bobby Lashley, and AJ Styles. Considering Edge’s desire for championship gold and recent success against Seth Rollins in Saudi Arabia, the most logical option might be an attempt to insert himself into the Seth / Big E feud over the WWE championship.
- Bobby Lashley defeated The Mysterios in a handicap match last week, so there isn’t much else he can do in a story with them. There aren’t any other obvious babyfaces lined up for Bob to face right now, so maybe the rumors are right and he’ll be Edge’s next opponent.
- Will The Miz finally return to Raw tonight?
- Doudrop attacked Bianca Belair from behind last week and has seemingly aligned herself with Tamina.
- The Street Profits used a fire extinguisher to avoid destruction at the hands of Omos and AJ Styles last week. The babyfaces got disqualified in the process, but hey, wins and losses don’t matter, so why would they care about that minor detail?
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?