01/06 WWE Raw Results: Powell’s review of Brock Lesnar’s return, Andrade vs. Rey Mysterio for the U.S. Championship, The Viking Raiders vs. The Street Profits vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson in a Triple Threat for the Raw Tag Titles, first show of 2020

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Raw on the USA Network
Aired live on January 6, 2020 from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at Chesapeake Energy Arena

[Hour One] Raw opened with a recap of the Bobby Lashley and Lana wedding from last week… The Raw opening aired… Pyro shot off on the stage and then the broadcast team of Vic Joseph and Jerry Lawler checked in and hyped the previously advertised segments…

WWE Champion Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman made their entrance. “Well, happy new year to you too, bitches,” Heyman said to the booing crowd. Heyman said he wanted to kick off the new decade by making history. Heyman said Lesnar wondered who would challenge him for his title at the Royal Rumble. Heyman said he asked Lesnar who is worthy of stepping into the ring with him.

Heyman said Lesnar answer that there’s not a single member of the Raw, Smackdown, or NXT roster who is man enough to step into the ring, let alone worthy enough of sharing the spotlight with him. Heyman told the crowd they should not boo Lesnar, which led to boos. Heyman said they shouldn’t boo when Lesnar is about to do something unprecedented. Heyman ran through some of Lesnar’s accomplishments.

Heyman said that everyone who wants to face Lesnar at the Rumble can face him at the Rumble. Heyman announced that Lesnar is entering the Royal Rumble match. He took it a step further and said that Lesnar is entering the Rumble match as the first entrant. Heyman said that anyone who enters from Raw, Smackdown, or NXT will go face to face with Lesnar. Heyman said Lesnar will enter first and will stand victorious last.

Heyman said Lesnar will conquer and win the Rumble after entering first. Heyman said that’s not just a prediction, that’s is a spoiler. Heyman tossed the mic aside. Lesnar’s music played and then he and Heyman headed up the ramp. Joseph and Lawler spoke at their desk. Lesnar and Heyman stopped by the duo. Lesnar ended up walking away, then Heyman stood and mugged for the camera…

Powell’s POV: It’s an interesting approach and Heyman did his usual strong job of making this seem like a big deal. I assume that whatever happens in the Rumble match will set up Lesnar’s WrestleMania match. No one on Raw has been built up to be a threat to Lesnar with the exception of Seth Rollins, but they are both heels. So I like the idea of Lesnar entering the Rumble more than him plowing through another opponent in a match with a predictable outcome. Heyman mentioned NXT multiple times along with Raw and Smackdown. I guess this means we can expect a decent NXT presence in the Rumble match.

Backstage, Rey Mysterio spoke into the camera in Spanish while standing at the Gorilla position set. Sarah Schreiber asked him how much the U.S. Title match means to him. Mysterio spoke about not having much time left in the ring and said he was taking the title back. Mysterio made his entrance heading into a break… [C] Andrade and Zelina Vega made their entrance coming out of the break…

1. Andrade (w/Zelina Vega) vs. Rey Mysterio for the U.S. Championship. Prior to the match, ring announcer Mike Rome stood at ringside and delivered introductions for both wrestlers as they stood in the ring. The wrestlers ended up at ringside. Mysterio shot Andrade fast first into the ring steps, then Vega flashed an over the top look of concern. Andrade was back on the offensive going into a break. [C]

Someone liked Vega’s over the top facial expression, as they showed it again coming out of the break. Mysterio performed a Canadian Destroyer. Vega put Andrade’s foot on the bottom rope. The referee made the three count. Vega pointed out foot. The referee opted to restart the match. [C]

Mysterio hit a 619 on Andrade, then went to the top rope. Andrade rolled to ringside before Mysterio could follow up. Mysterio dove off the apron onto Andrade, who caught him and then tossed him over his head, which resulted into Mysterio crashing onto Vega and it appeared as though they butted heads.

Andrade ran Mysterio into the steps and then threw him back inside the ring. Andrade set up for his finisher, but the referee stepped in. Mysterio fell to the mat, then rolled to ringside. Mysterio checked on Vega at ringside. Mysterio returned to the ring, Andrade kicked him, then performed the Hammerlock DDT and scored the pin.

Andrade defeated Rey Mysterio in 19:55 to retain the U.S. Championship.

Afterward, Andrade ripped the mask off Mysterio’s head. Lawler said it looked like Mysterio cared more about Vega than Andrade did. Andrade went to ringside and presented Vega with Mysterio’s mask…

Powell’s POV: I’m not sure what happened at the end of that match. It’s possible that Mysterio was out on his feet and that’s why the referee stepped in, as Mysterio did fall to the mat once Andrade released him. Fortunately, he and Vega seemed okay afterward. The match had that awkward moment and another clunky spot and yet it was still highly entertaining.

The broadcast team recapped footage of last week’s Seth Rollins and AOP angle with Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe…

Owens and Joe were interviewed by Charly Caruso on the backstage interview set. Owens noted that they typically don’t play well with others, but the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Joe said he’s a prideful man, but he recognizes little backup is needed. Joe challenged Rollins and AOP to face “the three of us.” Owens had no idea what he was talking about. Joe assured him that he had a guy. Joe said Rollins and AOP should be worried… [C]

Powell’s POV: The mystery of the Owens and Joe partner is a really nice hook for the rest of the show.

Seth Rollins and AOP were shown walking backstage when Caruso approached them about the challenge. Rollins calmed down Akam and Rezar, then said they live for challenges. Rollins said the challenge he’s most concerned is taking Raw to the next level. He said he didn’t ask to be the chosen one, the WWE Universe made him the chosen one. He referred to himself as the messiah of Monday nights. Rollins said he and AOP are a united front and anyone who stands up to the messiah then the AOP will take care of it…

The Street Profits made their entrance and took a trip through the crowd before going to the ring. Montez Ford said everyone was talking about the Golden Globes or the mystery partner, but they are changing the conversation. Angelo Dawkins said it was the first Raw of the decade. “We ain’t ringing it in, we’re blinging it in,” Dawkins said. Ford said The Viking Raiders may be vikings, but tonight they are pillaging. They want the smoke.

The OC trio of AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson made their entrance while the broadcast team hyped The Miz appearing on Tuesday’s WWE Backstage. The Viking Raiders made their entrance. Lawler predicted The OC would win the tag titles… [C]

2. “The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins in a Triple Threat for the Raw Tag Titles. The match started late in the first hour.

[Hour Two] Ford and Ivar had an early series of cartwheel exchanges, which the crowd enjoyed. Later, the Viking Raiders hit the Viking Experience on Ford and had the pin, but it was broken up by The OC duo. Gallows caught Erik going for a suicide dive and threw him over the ringside barricade going into a break. [C]

Powell’s POV: A local ad hyped NXT coming to St. Paul, Minnesota’s Roy Wilkins Auditorium on Sunday, February 23 with tickets going on sale this Friday.

Late in the match, Ford hit a frogsplash on Erik. Before he leapt from the ropes, Anderson tagged himself in. Anderson cleared the Street Profits to ringside and then covered Erik, but Ivar broke it up. A short time later, Erik tagged Ivar, who powerbombed Anderson. Ivar followed up with a top rope splash and scored the pin…

The Viking Raiders defeated Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson and The Street Profits in 15:15 to retain the Raw Tag Titles.

Powell’s POV: A strong tag team match with good action from bell to bell. WWE loaded up the first hour and 15 minutes of the show by giving away everything they advertised. It will be interesting to see how they fill out the remainder of the show beyond the six-man tag match.

Caruso interviewed Joe backstage and asked if he would divulge the identity of the mystery person. Owens showed up and said he was eager to find out because he’s done a lot of bad things to a lot of people in WWE. Joe asked Owens if it would make him feel better if he told him. Owens said yes. Joe led Owens away with Caruso in hot pursuit heading into a break… A Royal Rumble ad aired… [C]

Joe led Owens to a locker room door. Owens peaked inside and smiled while Joe blocked Caruso from getting a look. Joe asked Owens if they were good. Owens continued to smile and said they were good, but Rollins and AOP were not. Joe knocked on the door and said “lock it up”…

Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch made her entrance. She said she’s been walking around for months wondering what kind of a champion she is. She said she let the doubters get to her by forcing the powers that be to give her a rematch with Asuka at the Royal Rumble. Lynch said she’s starting to question her judgement.

Lynch said the holidays gave her some time to think about what it means to be The Man. Lynch wondered if she should take advice from the people backstage who are looking out for her. She asked if she should avoid the one woman that she can’t seem to beat. A video package recapped Asuka defeating Lynch at last year’s Royal Rumble event, beating her on Raw a couple months ago, and then beating her again at TLC.

Lynch started to say what she figured out, but she was interrupted by Asuka’s entrance music. Asuka came out and spoke in Japanese as she walked down the ramp. Asuka entered the ring while Lynch looked downward. Asuka yelled at Lynch, who punched her and simply left the ring. Asuka got back to her feet and threw a fit while Lynch went to the stage and smiled at her…

Powell’s POV: I’m digging the build to Lynch vs. Asuka. They have done a good job of making it seem like Asuka has Lynch’s number. Lynch had her moment here and that’s fine, but I hope they get back to making Asuka look dominant with the remaining weeks before their match at the Rumble.

Erick Rowan was shown walking backstage with his pet cage when he was approached by Mojo Rawley, who asked if he could take one look at what was inside the cage. Rowan told him to help himself, but don’t tell anybody. Rawley peeked through a hole near the handle, then jump back and screamed. “What the hell is wrong with you, man?” Rowan smiled and walked away…

Andrade and Vega were being interviewed on the backstage set when Mysterio attacked Andrade. Mysterio, who wasn’t wearing his mask (and could only be seen from behind), took his mask back and put it on…

3. Erick Rowan vs. KJ Orso. Rowan put his pet cage on the ring steps. Rowan dragged Orso to ringside and asked if he wanted to look inside the cage. Orso escaped and returned to the ring and struck a hilarious looking fighting pose. Rowan asked if he wanted to fight. He returned to the ring and barked at the ref to ring the bell, then destroyed Orso before pinning him.

Erick Rowan beat KJ Orso in 0:25.

After the match, Rowan brought Orso to the cage and lifted the sack. Orso came up screaming with something red on his face and then ran to the back while screaming…

Rollins and AOP were shown backstage while the broadcast team wondered who the third man would be… [C]

Powell’s POV: I finally figured it out. Rowan got an advance copy of Cats on Blu-Ray and is keeping it inside his pet cage. The redness was caused by Orso attempting to claw his own eyes out once he saw the atrocity.

An ad aired for NXT UK Takeover: Blackpool 2 for Sunday on WWE Network…

AJ Styles made his entrance. A video package recapped last week’s segment with Randy Orton acting injured only to put Styles down with an RKO. A graphic hyped Orton vs. Styles for next week…

4. AJ Styles vs. Akira Tozawa. Styles hit the Phenomenal Forearm just over 30 seconds into the match and could have pinned Tozawa, but he lifted him up to dish out more punishment. Styles set up for a Styles Clash, then changed his mind and gave Tozawa his own version of the draping DDT. Styles pounded on the mat like Styles and then hit his own version of the RKO and scored the pin. Afterward, Styles posed on the ropes like Orton…

AJ Styles pinned Akira Tozawa in 2:10.

A guy wearing a suit entered the ring and was quickly tackled by two other men wearing suits heading into a break… [C]

Powell’s POV: Fortunately, Styles didn’t pop his shoulder out while pounding on the mat like Orton once did. Somehow, I don’t think this will lead to Orton performing his version of the Phenomenal Forearm. I doubt the post match scene was a legit fan because (a) fans stopped wearing suits to wrestling matches around the time the Four Horsemen split (b) they went out of their way to show it when they could have kept the camera on Styles as he walked to the back.

OKC imagery was shown and then a recap of the wedding was shown…

Bobby Lashley and Lana made their entrance and heading to the ring where the minister from last week was waiting. Lana demanded silence. She said that they were getting married on the spot. The minister said that “by the emergency power vested in me” by the state of Oklahoma, and then pronounced them man and wife.

Lana called the minister boring and then dismissed him. She said it should be the happiest day in her life, but she feels sad. She showed off her wedding ring and said she hoped the fans were taking a long look at it because the fans are basic, pathetic civilians who should feel honored to be in her midst. She complained about all the wedding interruptions last week.

[Hour Three] Lashley said the most miserable of them all was Rusev. Lashley questioned why Rusev ruined their day and whether it was to give the “idiot” fans a laugh or to hide the fact that he wasn’t man enough to keep his own wife.

Rusev appeared on the big screen wearing a Hawaiian shirt with the sleeves cut off as he stood in front of a tropical beach backdrop. Rusev claimed he went on his own honeymoon on the beach. Rusev said he had a nice wedding present – a wedding album. A wedding video aired with still shots from last week’s wedding.

Lana threw a fit and told Rusev that she hates him because he ruins everything. “Shut up,” Lashley said. He said Rusev used to be a man until his ex-wife stripped him of his manhood. Lashley challenged Rusev to show up to Raw if he has any balls left so that he could rip them off and shove them down his throat. Rusev ripped his shirt off and became serious while talking about how he would brutalize every part of his body. He said if there’s anything left then it’s all Lana’s…

Powell’s POV: Lashley telling Lana to shut up was the most interesting part of that segment. Rusev continues to come off like a wild and crazy guy, but at least he flipped the switch and became serious at the end. Where’s Liv Morgan?

Joseph hyped the six-man tag match… Charlotte was shown walking backstage. Joseph said she would be in action after the break… [C] An ad for Smackdown focused on the “shocking returns”…

Joseph announced Rusev vs. Lashley as being official for next week’s Raw…

Caruso was about to interview R-Truth on the backstage set when Liv Morgan showed up. Morgan said Lana will be in Lashley’s corner, which means Rusev needs someone in his corner. She said that is a moment she would live for…

Powell’s POV: Hey, there’s Liv.

Charlotte Flair made her entrance for a match against Sarah Logan. Flair’s entrance was televised while Logan was already in the ring. Logan attacked Flair before the bell and dumped her to ringside. Logan followed and threw punches at Flair, who ran Logan into the barricade and fought back. Both women tumbled into the crowd and continued to fight. They returned to ringside and Logan ran Flair into the ring post.

Logan rolled into the ring and picked up Flair’s robe and started slamming it onto the mat repeatedly while Flair watched from the floor (oh, the humanity!). Lawler claimed the robe was given to Charlotte by her father. Flair ended up roughing up Logan at ringside and gave her a fallaway slam into the barricade. Once Logan was down, Flair had the referee bring her the robe, which she put on and then her music played. Flair wiped her feet to taunt Logan…

Drew McIntyre was shown walking backstage. Joseph said McIntyre would be in action after the break… [C]

Erick Rowan, AJ Styles, Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, and Ricochet were shown on a graphic as Royal Rumble match entrants…

No Way Jose was in the ring while his goof troop was dancing at ringside. Drew McIntyre made his entrance and attacked a couple of the goofs…

5. Drew McIntyre vs. No Way Jose. McIntyre got the better of Jose, then went to ringside and worked over a goof troop member. Jose kicked McIntyre when he returned to the ring. McIntyre came back with a Future Shock DDT. McIntyre led a countdown and then delivered a Claymore Kick and scored the pin.

Drew McIntyre defeated No Way Jose in 1:40.

After the match, McIntyre threw Jose onto the goof troop. He took the mic and asked the crowd who double dared him to do another Claymore. The fans cheered. McIntyre brought Jose back into the ring, led another countdown, and delivered the Claymore Kick. McIntyre noted that he didn’t even drop the microphone. He said he’s always hated conga lines, but the cheeseburger dude is actually a nice guy.

McIntyre noted that he’s never had a world championship opportunity. He said he doesn’t give a damn who is the Rumble, there can only be “three, two, one.” McIntyre dropped the mic…

Aleister Black was shown walking backstage… [C]

Powell’s POV: Attacking the Rosebud Rejects would make Satan himself a babyface in my book. But it is worth nothing that McIntyre was a little more playful on the mic last week and now he’s leading countdowns before delivering his finisher. It appears they are finally turning him babyface and I’m all for it. He’d be a tremendous opponent for Brock Lesnar, and he proved in Impact Wrestling that he can be a terrific top babyface.

6. Aleister Black vs. Shelton Benjamin. Only Black’s entrance was televised. Lawler sang the praises of Benjamin and said he should not be underestimated. Benjamin put up a brief fight, but Black hit a Black Mass kick and scored the pin.

Aleister Black beat Shelton Benjamin in 2:50.

After the match, Buddy Murphy hit the ring and attacked Black from behind. Murphy dominated Black and took him to ringside where he delivered a knee to Black’s head while Black was leaning up against the barricade in the timekeepers area. Murphy grabbed a chair. Murphy raised Black’s head with his foot, put the chair under his chin, and then delivered a knee to the chair. Murphy sat crosslegged on the barricade while two referees checked on Black…

Rollins and AOP were shown walking backstage while Joseph hyped the main event…

Powell’s POV: Please let the mystery partner be something more exciting than Braun Strowman. Anyway, I was surprised to see Murphy attack Black if only because it seemed like they were moving on last week. They have great matches together so I’m not complaining. I just hope that both guys can get over while feuding against one another.

Ring entrances for the main event took place. The heels came out first. Rollins was introduced as the Monday Night Messiah. Rollins took the mic and said he has been chosen to lead Raw to the promised land. Rollins said the fans don’t know what’s good for them, but he does and always has. He spoke of eliminating those who impede progress. Owens made his entrance followed by Samoa Joe and then mystery partner Big Show…

Powell’s POV: Was Big Show a heel when we last saw him? Does this count as another turn?!?!? Anyway, it’s nice to see them deliver an actual surprise rather than a Raw regular such as Strowman.

7. Seth Rollins and “AOP” Akam and Rezar vs. Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe, and Big Show. Show started the match and knocked down Akam, bumped Rezar off the ropes, and chopped the chest of Rollins heading into a break. [C]

Owens performed a cannonball onto Rollins in the corner coming out of the break. Owens got a two count off a backbreaker. Owens went to the ropes, but Rezar knocked him down while the referee was distracted. Rezar roughed up Owens at ringside, then brought him into the ring where he through bad looking punches at Owens, who was isolated by the heel trio.

Show eventually took a hot tag and overpowered Rollins who rolled to ringside. AOP threw Joe into the steps at ringside. Rollins leapt at Show, who caught him by the neck. Show released Rollins when AOP came at him and he grabbed them by the neck. Rollins grabbed a chair and hit Show with it for the DQ.

Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe, and Big Show beat Seth Rollins and AOP by DQ in 10:15.

After the match, Rollins set up for a Stomp on Show, but Owens grabbed his leg from the floor. Rollins shook free, then turned into a knockout punch from Big Show. AOP dragged Rollins up the ramp by his arms. Meanwhile, Joseph hyped Orton vs. Styles, Black vs. Murphy, Brock Lesnar appearing, Rusev vs. Lashley, and Rollins and AOP vs. Big Show, Owens, and Samoa Joe in a “fist fight.” Lawler questioned what the rules are in a first fight as the show went off the air…

Powell’s POV: A solid main event despite the cheap finish. The crowd booed initially, but they seemed content once Show delivered the knockout punch. More importantly, I loved seeing the way they hyped all those matches at the end of the show. It’s a sign that the show is no longer being booked on the fly. There have been a number of positive changes in Raw lately and I’ll be talking about them in my Raw audio review coming up shortly for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of the show by giving it a letter grade in our post show poll available on the main page.



The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...


Readers Comments (12)

  1. Between the triple threat tag and the Flair/Morgan brawl, this is the stiffest work on Raw in ages.

  2. Patrick Peralta January 6, 2020 @ 9:46 pm

    Yeah make McIntyre a babyface so he can face Lesner a heel and McIntyre can be destroyed by Lesner like all other babyface and lose any momentum he had as ababyface. such a brillant idea.

    not really McIntyre is a better heel he would do better faceing Lesner as a heel.

    I don’t like Lesner but Vince does and unless things change Vince is always going to cater to Lesner.

  3. Patrick Peralta January 6, 2020 @ 9:52 pm

    looks like the Murphy vs Black is one of those feuds that will continue to happen forever and both will always be linked together.

    like Hogan VS Savage, Flair vs Sting . Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair, Cena Vs Orton and Austin vs Rock.

    the type feud that will never end.

  4. Dear Mike,

    your Vikings won, so that can’t be it. But Strowman is on Smackdown – not on RAW, so he can’t be a RAW “regular”. You should know, you reviewed the show on Friday. And you confused Morgan with Logan. A lot.

    Blink twice if you need help.

    Best Regards
    Christian

  5. Weird idea about what’s in Rowan’s sack – but I’m going with a skunk. Seriously. Jobber got sprayed as one does.

  6. A FAN'S 2 CENTS January 7, 2020 @ 8:52 am

    That was the best RAW in a VERY long time. Drew McIntyre moving towards a full face turn is awesome. He needs to have a belt by the end of Wrestlemania. But if they really want him over with the crowd…have him interrupt the next Eric Rowan squash match, blast Rowan, and show everybody what’s in the cage. Nobody likes Rowan, and not in a “heel heat” way. Let them feud for a bit, and stop the squash matches.

  7. You’re right,Jason. It was not a fan trying to get into the ring. That was the minister for the Lashley-Lana segment. No idea why security tackled him. Weird.

  8. No mention of Becky being booed after sucker punching Asuka?

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