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Raw recap & reactions (Dec. 13, 2021): We don’t need no stinkin’ logic

The long, slow road to Day 1 continues and the WWE Championship picture gets cloudier for Big E.

Raw is live from St. Paul, MN this week meaning they were freezing. Fortunately for us, we get to watch from our warm couches and look at the show from afar. I’m your host this winter evening as we countdown to Day 1 and, of course, the Holidays. Claire is busy, as always, so show her blog some love.

Ready to get started? Let’s talk Raw!


All Mighty Marathon Man

I promised to always keep it real with you. These are my thoughts, whether you agree, right or wrong. It’s just how I’m feeling at the moment. And right now? None of this main story running through Raw this week made an iota of sense.

Let’s start with the fact WWE used the tried and true “stack the deck” trope against Bobby Lashley, a heel. One doesn’t simply stack decks against heels. Because, duh, they’re bad guys. You stack the deck against the good guys because it garners sympathy, gives the fans something to cheer for, and it’s unfair. To say nothing of the fact two of Lashley’s three matches were against other bad guys! So what exactly is the audience rooting for? If we’re not supposed to like Kevin Owens or Bobby Lashley, why do we care who wins the match? Especially when the former makes a quick tap to preserve himself for the upcoming big match. Same goes for Lashley and Seth Rollins. To quote a certain Tribal Chief, it’s confusing.

When Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville—still the two worst people at any job other than NY Giants GM Dave Gettleman—declared Lashley’s matches were No DQ after KO got Lashley disqualified in his match with Seth, they presented it as something to excite the crowd. Big E is the champion and this week, WWE did more to garner goodwill towards a dastardly fiend than their babyface with the gold around his waist.

This speaks to WWE’s weird booking on Raw. Especially the fluidity Pearce and Deville display on the regular. Depending on the show or the week, the two are either neutral umpires calling balls and strikes, or they’re either bad to the bone or goodie two shoes. Sometimes, they’re all three on the same show.

All of this is why I felt nothing during the main event. Lashley and Big E make beautiful music together but their notes are drowned out from all the noise around them. Which sucks because their No DQ match was as physical as you think it was.

Rollins and KO interfering to take out Lashley is one of those disconnected moments. I get it. They want to preserve their advantage and not share a ring with another man. Word. But in doing so, they once again make everything weird. E fended them off because he’s a man of honor and wants to do it the right way. Of course, his righteousness came back to haunt him when MVP struck E’s knee with a cane, allowing Lashley to hit a spear and earn his way into the Fatal 4-Way at January 1 Day 1.

More stakes for E as he rings in 2022, but the way we got here just doesn’t compute.

Best part of the whole story? Seth’s suit and then Seth complimenting Bobby’s suit. Love to see two cats giving each other props for looking fly.


Extracurriculars

Another January 1 Rematch

I’m not feeling Liv on the microphone. I’m not sure what it is, but she sounds too rehearsed and I can hear her thinking. That said, when she gets physical and responds to Becky’s jackass routine, I buy it. Becky injured Liv and accepted her challenge for a rematch at Day 1. Typical heel move and a good way to keep building heat for Becky Lynch. That said, Liv has to get a W or else this is really just spinning wheels.

Big O Gets a Very Big W

Otis beat Riddle in pretty dominant fashion. Riddle had his moments, sure, but this was all Otis all the time. The story? Riddle isn’t focused and no matter what Randy Orton says, his tag partner refuses to put all of his energy into his matches.

Bianca Wins the Battle But...

This feud confuses me at the moment. I get Doudrop’s motivation and why she wants to beat Bianca. But in two tries now, she came up short. Once by DQ and now with her shoulders on the mat for three seconds. Bianca can’t overpower her like everyone else, but she just outsmarts her and uses Doudrop’s weight against her.

But after the match, Doudrop attacked Belair. Frustration? Sure. But that means this will keep going. Belair has two wins under her belt now, what legitimate reason does she have to keep fighting?

Over the Edge

The most interesting part of Edge and Miz’s latest back and forth was Miz using Maryse as a human shield. Maryse’s husband erred because she wasn’t feeling that. Not one bit. The segment ended with Maryse slapping her husband because as the mother of his two children, she can’t put herself in that kind of danger anymore. This adds some intrigue and another layer because before that, it was yawn city. Edge presented another version of what he said last week, while Miz provided more smugness and violence.

This program is exhibit A that one month is way too long for the way WWE builds matches.

Theory’s Dirty Deeds

Austin Theory and Finn Balor are going to tango. Either next week or at Day 1. My money is on both. Theory interfered as Balor and Damian Priest took on the Dirty Dawgs. It was actually a fun tag match until Theory interfered and cut it way too short.

Nikki A.N.C.H.O.R.

Queen Zelina defeated Rhea Ripley. Clean. In the middle of the ring. While that in itself is enough to go “word?” it’s how Zelina beat her that matters. Well, it matters to some. Nikki A.S.H. keeps proving she’s an anchor around Rhea’s waist. She’s the reason they’re no longer tag champs, and now she’s the cause for Rhea taking a rare L. And Rhea knows it too. I’m interested because I really want to know how this ends.

24/7 Still a Thing

I have no words for this.


Wasn’t feeling Raw tonight. The bright spots didn’t have the intensity to blot out the dullness and poor logic around them. Plus, we’re still getting this thing with Vince McMahon and Austin Theory, which now includes a pencil eraser. Sure, Jan.

One month is too long for WWE, as they’re doing their best to fill the hours. Only problem is their best isn’t that great this week.

Corey Graves summed up my feelings on Raw best: Of all the things I’ve seen, that was the most recent.

Grade: D

That’s my grade and I’m sticking to it. Your turn.