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Raw recap & reactions (Dec. 27, 2021): Nice day for a white wedding

A wrestling wedding vow renewal ceremony? What could possibly go wrong?

It feels like weeks since we last reconvened but in reality it’s just a week in between! Welcome to the post-Christmas, pre-Day 1, pre-New Years Day Raw recap! I’m your host as per usual, ready to take you through three hours of primetime wrestling.

Claire is here, too, doing what she does best.

Let’s talk Raw!


Red (ish) Wedding

Shoutout to Detroit for BOOING A WOMAN RECITING VOWS TO PROFESS HER LOVE. I loved every second of that. Never change, Detroit. But to Miz’s point, they do cheer for the Lions so, does it really matter what or whom they cheer for?

Maryse & Mis renewed their vows in a ceremony officiated by Eazy Eric Bischoff. And it was glorious. The best part, besides Detroit, was Miz doing his best to recite his vows in French. Of course, he kept swinging and missing, eventually speaking Spanish to his wife. This was all setup for Edge to make an entrance, which Bischoff understood.

And what celebration of love is complete without Edge’s mind games? After teasing an attack from his own wife, Edge said “nah.” Maniacal as always, Edge revealed he really wasn’t there to ruin anything. The Rated R guy just wanted to say hi and make his presence known. But yeah, that too was a double whopper of a lie. Edge asked if the happy couple planned for a white wedding—shoutout to Billy Idol—and a familiar Brood tune played in the Detroit arena. Cue the blackout, red lights, and a liquid substance that, regretfully, has more in common with black than the red from Brood Blood Baths of the past.

The segment didn’t break new ground. Especially since wrestling ceremonies of this kind are very meta now since we all know an uninvited guest or two will show up. However, it reaffirmed just how awful Miz and Maryse are as people. While Edge might not be the best guy, he at least knows he ain’t sh*t. The other two really believe their own hype. Edge needed revenge for what happened last week, and this was the best moment to strike.

Ultimate opportunist got an opportunity. And when Melo Edge shoots, he don’t miss.

I’m still not sure where this match is headed on January 1 Day 1. The feud started interesting and devolved into a very typical WWE thing. More mind games, even of this caliber, are more my speed and what I wanted from these two. But with an entire month to build story, it’s no wonder the strongest parts were the beginning and the end. The soft, squishy middle is often when Raw gets into trouble.


Streets is Watching

Before we get into this very dope tag match in the RK-Bronament finals, a brief word on Montez Ford.

Homie is a freak.

Do yourself a favor and watch this match if you missed it. One of the things you’ll see is Ford jump from the top turnbuckle to the other side of the ring and land a picture perfect Frog Splash. Montez got all of it, too. Like the matrix, one must see it to believe it. Especially since my words don’t do it justice.

Okay, enough gushing. The Street Profits battled The Mysterios for a shot at RK-Bro at Day 1 (Ish). Both teams told the story that Dominik is better with his dad than without. Young Mysterio is the weak link for a team going against another team who has no weak link. Angelo Dawkins and Montez can hold their own and work beautifully together because they trust each other to hold it down when the brown stuff hits the fan.

When you’re going against Rey Mysterio, a lot of brown stuff is going to hit the wall, so they were prepared.

The high flying moves slowly came out to play. The teams played it relatively safe for the first few minutes, feeling each other out and—pun fully intended—learning the ropes. It’s almost as if all four men realized what was on the line and collectively shifted to another gear.

Dominik can play on that gear but he can’t sustain it. He’s at a bit of a loss when his dad is out of the picture, as the ending illustrated rather perfectly. With Dawkins grounded on the outside of the ring, Rey and Dom—not that Dom—went for a 619 in stereo. But Dawkins had just enough time to recover, tripped Daddy Mysterio, leaving jr. all by his lonesome and a tad confused. Dominik’s stumbling and bumbling was the start of his ending. One Blockbuster/Doomsday Machine later, the Profits have a date with the champs. January 1, to be exact.

If any team dethrones RK-Bro, it better be the Profits. The Mysterios still have a hump to get over and one wonders—one being me—what Rey plans to do about it.

Extracurriculars

WWE Championship. Live via Satellite

COVID ran wilder than that other guy used to back in the ‘80s. As a result, the build for the WWE championship match at Day 1 was, like most of our lives these days, done digitally. Big E was live from his home with choice words for his challengers. This is his story, not theirs. It’s about his struggle, not theirs. And he knows he needs to be himself and find his mojo.

Seth Rollins, live from Chateau de Man, let Kevin Owens have all the credit for what they did to Bobby Lashley last week. Rollins doesn’t care. At the PPV, he will reign supreme.

With Lashley on the sidelines and the other two men at home, MVP and Kevin Owens did their best to sell the match in front of the Detroit faithful. The word “ectomorphic” was uttered, eliciting a chuckle from me and disbelief from KO.

Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin showed up, apparently realizing their Hurt Business spinoff wasn’t a thing. What did this lead to? Well, a match between Cedric and KO, of course.

Bad Business

Cedric and Shelton Benjamin believe Bobby Lashley is better with them than without them. To prove their point, Alexander battled KO to get in MVP’s good graces.

Yeah, that didn’t happen.

Cedric was in control for most of the match but ultimately looked up at the lights for three seconds. Shelton, before he got to say what was on his mind to KO, got a stunner for his troubles.

Sigh. Good match but I’m crestfallen—yes, crestfallen—at whatever this thing is Cedric and Shelton are doing.

Phenomenal Momentum

AJ Styles needed this win over Apollo. Grayson Waller showed up in Detroit to talk his normal trash. Apollo and Commander Azeez showed up to take advantage of a colossus-less Styles. AJ was the weak cat in the Omos & AJ collab, so it makes sense two people are ready to pick on him and make themselves famous.

AJ and Apollo have pretty good chemistry together, working a match showcasing how athletic and agile both men are. AJ not only pinned Apollo, but took down Azeez with a Phenomenal Forearm and avoided the typical post-match beatdown.

One for Riddle...

Riddle picked up the W over Chad Gable in a short but good match. The story? Alpha Academy, specifically Otis, having RK-Bro’s number. Riddle proved that might not be the case and it was followed by...

One for Raaaandy

Randy Orton finally, finally, slapped an RKO on Otis. After failing to get it done last week and three times this week, the fourth time was indeed the charm. And despite what Riddle said before the match, R, K, and O are not words. High education, indeed. Not as good as the Gable and Riddle bout but serviceable. This might mean RK-Bro is losing the titles to whomever wins the RK-Bronament as they move American Alpha off the board.

Mixed Messaging

R-Truth jumped and clicked his heels, the highlight of the match and probably the highlight of the night. Tamina & R-Truth went two-on-two with Dana Brooke & Reggie, who dressed like a cross between a chauffeur and a Chippendales dancer. Reggie picked up the W for his team. Just short and silly enough to showcase some cool moves, and not long enough to make you wonder what in the world is happening here.

Tag Champ Rematch

Super Brutality (remember when that was a thing?) challenged Carmella & Queen Zelina for the tag championships at Day 1. The champs accepted and immediately started with the mind games. Their goal is to coax Nikki A.S.H. (Almost a Sane Human, according to Corey Graves) into doing too much. Nikki is the weakest link, so flattering Rhea Ripley and demeaning A.S.H. is the smart play. Carmella cut an effective promo, saying Nikki is almost a lot of things. But almost isn’t good enough.

Unless it’s partial credit on my middle school math tests, she’s right.

Two-Face

Damien Priest let his darker half get the best of him, leading to a DQ victory for Dolph Ziggler during their United States Championship match. It was an okay match until Damian snapped, as it felt a bit clunky for my taste. Damian’s evil face is still way more comical than it should be. Eventually, Dolph is going to ask for a match where Damien loses the title if he’s DQ’d, right? Right now, the character trait isn’t harming Priest at all. There’s gotta be at least a couple consequences.


Maybe it’s because of COVID tying their hands, but Raw had good energy this week. We got one incredible match sandwiched by solid matches, a new match for Day 1, and some comedy that worked. They did their best with the hand they were dealt and delivered a pretty good go home show.

Grade: B+

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