12/20 WWE Raw Results: Powell’s live review of U.S. Champion Damian Priest vs. Dolph Ziggler in a non-title match, Bianca Belair vs. Doudrop, Austin Theory vs. Finn Balor, AJ Styles and Omos vs. The Street Profits, Rhea Ripley vs. Queen Zelina, Cutting Edge and Miz TV talkshows

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

WWE Raw (Episode 1,491)
Live from Milwaukee, Wisconsin at Fiserv Forum
Aired December 20, 2021 on USA Network

[Hour One] Raw opened with a recap of Bobby Lashley beating Big E, Seth Rollins, and Kevin Owens in three separate matches last week to earn a spot in the WWE Championship match at the WWE Day 1 pay-per-view… Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton were on commentary…

Bobby Lashley and MVP made their entrance. MVP took the mic and labeled Lashley’s three wins in one night as a case of Lashley pulling off the impossible. He said everyone must acknowledge that we are living in the All Mighty Era.

Big E’s entrance music interrupted MVP. The WWE Champion made his entrance and joined Lashley and MVP in the ring. Big E congratulated Lashley on his wins last week. Big E said the Lashley he knows is strong and dominant, and he gets the job done in the ring all on his own.

Big E said that’s why he was surprised that MVP hit him with a cane last week. Big E wondered if if it was a sign that Lashley didn’t have the plumbs to get it done on his own. Lashley said he would have won either way and had MVP confirm that he acted on his own.

Lashley turned his attention to MVP and said people were questioning whether he could have won on his own. He recalled MVP stating last week that if Lashley couldn’t beat Big E, then he would. Lashley said he thinks MVP believes that. He called for a Big E vs. MVP match to see if that was true. Lashley went to ringside and told MVP to use his cane.

MVP wound up with his cane. Big E stood his ground. Suddenly, Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens attacked Lashley from behind at ringside and then ran him into the ring post. Big E went to ringside and was worked over by Rollins and Owens. They shifted their focus back to attacking Lashley, but Big E recovered and helped Lashley clear them from the ring…

Powell’s POV: The verbal portion with Big E and Lashley felt a little flat, but the angle with Rollins and Owens attacking them was well done and presumably sets up a tag team match. I’m intrigued by Rollins and Owens working together. I’ve noted in the past that I’d like to see them form a long term alliance and a faction with one or two others is interesting. I thought it was a pipe dream and it may still be, but it’s at least possible now that Owens has re-signed with WWE.

Highlights aired of Bianca Belair beating Doudrop last week, only to have Doudrop hit her with a cheap shot on the stage afterward…

Bianca Belair was interviewed by Sarah Schreiber, who noted that Belair’s match with Doudrop was being billed as the final chapter. Belair said the final chapter would end the same way as the previous chapters. Belair made her entrance for the match… [C]

Rollins and Owens spoke backstage. Owens said they have to get Lashley out of the four-way title match because he’s too strong. Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville showed up and booked Rollins and Owens against Big E and Lashley for later in the show. Rollins and Owens were not pleased… Doudrop made her entrance…

1. Bianca Belair vs. Doudrop. Belair went for her KOD finisher during the opening seconds, but Doudrop avoided it and went to ringside. Doudrop clotheslined Belair sing the top rope. A short time later, both women ended up at ringside where Doudrop performed a spinebuster heading into a break. [C]

Belair came back with a cross body block from the second rope and then performed her handspring moonsault for a near fall. Doudrop rallied and went for a splash from the ropes that Belair avoided. Belair powered her up and performed the KOD and then scored the clean pin…

Bianca Belair beat Doudrop in 11:20.

Powell’s POV: A quality match with a crowd-pleasing finish. WWE is pumping in a lot of noise these days, but in this case the crowd really came to life when Belair impressively powered up Doudop for her finisher. Given all the rematches WWE books these days, I’m surprised this was billed as the final chapter between Belair and Doudrop.

Highlights aired of Austin Theory causing issues during Finn Balor’s last two matches…

Austin Theory was checking himself out on his phone when Kevin Patrick approached him with a mic. Patrick noted that Vince McMahon seems to have taken an interest in Theory, who said he’s “the luckiest superstar in the world.” Theory said he thinks Vince sees him as a future WWE Champion and then walked away. “You better not lose,” Patrick said…

Finn Balor made his entrance for his match against Theory… [C] Theory made his entrance…

2. Finn Balor vs. Austin Theory. Balor jumped out to a quick start, but Theory blocked his kick from the apron and drove him onto the mat. Theory positioned Balor so that his feet were on the apron and then performed a neckbreaker on the floor. [C]

Balor went up top, but Theory cut him off. Theory performed a Spanish Fly from the ropes, which Smith said he’d never seen before. Theory had Balor down, but he grabbed his phone and took a selfie while going for the pin. Balor hooked Theory into a pin for a two count. Balor dropkicked Theory in the corner and followed up with the Coup De Grace and scored the pin…

Finn Balor beat Austin Theory in 9:05.

Powell’s POV: A good match aside from Theory looking like an idiot for taking the selfie. That said, they are obviously telling a story with Theory and Vince McMahon, so we’ll see where it goes.

Footage aired of Maryse slapping The Miz after he used her as a shield during a segment with Edge…

Backstage, The Miz told Omos that he was happy he shared some information with him and said it would make for a great Miz TV. AJ Styles showed up and assumed that he and Omos were on the same page… The Miz made his entrance… [C]

Imagery from Milwaukee including shots of the Bucks and Brewers was shown…

[Hour Two] A Smackdown recap video package aired and focussed on Roman Reigns firing Paul Heyman…

The Miz stood in the ring and issued an apology to Maryse and said that if she loves him, she won’t talk about their relationship on The Cutting Edge. Miz shifted to introducing AJ Styles and Omos as his guests, saying they were more combustible than recently fired Jacksonville Jaguars’ head coach Urban Meyer and his former coaching staff.

Miz and Styles sat in chairs while Omos stood between them. Miz said he couldn’t help but notice that things seemed strained between Styles and Omos. Styles said it was kind of like Miz and his wife. Styles said he and Omos were going through growing pains. Styles said he and Omos are unstoppable when they are on the same page.

Styles said Omos is so good that he could become a tag team champion on his own. He said they went off the rails a bit, but those things happen. He said he’s proud of their team and they are seeing eye to eye. Styles told Omos that he wanted to take all of the titles.

Miz said Omos told him that he and Styles are not on the same page. Styles asked what kind of a man uses his wife as a human shield. Miz said Styles was deflecting. Miz said he was shocked that Omos confided in him that he’s sick and tired of carrying Styles. Miz recalled Omos saying that Styles has been holding him back ever since he recruited him.

Miz said the respect that Styles has for Omos is one-sided. He said it took Styles fifteen years to get to WWE, whereas WWE practically begged Omos to join the company. Styles told Omos that this is why he didn’t think they should appear on the show. Styles asked Omos what the real story was.

Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio made their entrance before Omos could respond to Styles. Their tag match was listed as coming up after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: A good segment. Styles continues to come off as the babyface of his team. I wouldn’t say that Omos is coming off as the heel yet because he’s been ambiguous by design. We’ll see if that changes during the tag match. Either way, I’m intrigued by this story.

Graves hyped Migos making a special appearance at the WWE Day 1 event…

3. AJ Styles and Omos vs. Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio. The broadcast team noted that The Mysterios will face The Street Profits in the finals of the tournament for a shot at the Raw Tag Titles. They also noted that AJ Styles had been called out by NXT’s Grayson Waller via social media. Styles started the match for his team and eventually went for a tag, but Omos gave him the cold shoulder. Rey rolled up Styles and pinned him…

Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio beat AJ Styles and Omos in 2:25.

After the match, Styles stood up and looked at Omos, who didn’t make eye contact with him. Styles asked Omos if this was how it was going to be. Styles called Omos a piece of trash. Omos shoved Styles, who then worked him over with punches and a kick as he tried to enter the ring. Omos shoved Styles to the mat. Styles hit him with a Phenomenal Forearm that dazed him, but then went for another that Omos stuffed. Omos picked up Styles and dropped him to the mat.

Omos got a mic and then stood over Styles while telling him that the next time he sees him, it will be when they have a match against one another. Omos headed to the back while Styles sold in the ring…

Powell’s POV: Omos didn’t say much and that’s for the best. It will be interesting to see if they give him a mouthpiece. I mentioned months ago that he would been a good addition to the Lashley and MVP act, but I have no idea where this is headed, which is a good thing.

Highlights aired of Omos beating Riddle last week and then dropping Randy Orton with an elbow to the head on last week’s show…

Randy Orton made his entrance. Smith said Orton told Riddle that he wanted to handle his match with Chad Gable on his own… [C]

Austin Theory thought about knocking on Vince McMahon’s office door, but he reconsidered and walked away… Chad Gable and Otis made their entrance…

4. Randy Orton vs. Chad Gable (w/Otis). Gable got some offense, but Orton put him down with an RKO and pinned him.

Randy Orton beat Chad Gable in 3:00.

After the match, Otis entered the ring and Orton tried to give him an RKO. Otis stuffed the move and tossed Orton to ringside where Orton landed on his feet…

Powell’s POV: It’s a shame that they continue to make Gable the weak link of the team rather than building him up with the goal of making Alpha Academy a strong tag team. Rather, the focus seems to be on building up Otis for a singles run. It will be interesting to see how he does.

Backstage, MVP asked Bobby Lashley if he’s ready for his match. Lashley said he would rough up Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens, and would do the same to Big E if he even looked at him wrong. MVP asked Lashley about volunteering him for the match against Big E. Lashley said he needed to hydrate and asked MVP to grab him some water…

Powell’s POV: So rather than a Lashley, MVP, and Omos alliance, I wonder if we’ll get Lashley flying solo while MVP becomes the mouthpiece for Omos?

U.S. Champion Damian Priest made his entrance… [C]

Footage aired from earlier in the day of Reggie and Dana Brooke looking at an indoor Christmas display. Akira Tozawa popped up in an elf costume calling for R-Truth. Tamina showed up instead and shoved him to the ground while recalling that she told him to stay out of her way. Brooke and Reggie approached Santa, who was actually R-Truth. Tamina rolled up Brooke, who avoided being pinned. Brooke fought off Tamina and left the scene with Reggie…

Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode made their entrance…

5. U.S. Champion Damian Priest vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/Robert Roode) in a non-title match. Ziggler performed an early sunset flip and had a massive case of plumber’s crack. Priest went up top and was cut off by Ziggler, who superplexed him. [C]

Priest hit Ziggler with a series of strikes and then followed up with a leaping elbow in the corner. Priest followed up with a Broken Arrow a short time later and only got a two count. Priest dropped Ziggler with a kick from the apron. Roode tripped Priest, who snapped and attacked him. The referee counted out Priest while he was destroying Roode.

Dolph Ziggler beat U.S. Champion Damian Priest via count-out in 9:10 in a non-title match.

Graves said Ziggler would get a U.S. Title opportunity. Priest blocked a kick from Ziggler, who then fled the ring. Priest went back to the floor and hit his Reckoning finisher on Roode…

Powell’s POV: Well, we learned that Ziggler doesn’t use spray tan on his ass, but at least I didn’t have to listen to his terrible singles entrance theme. It’s a Christmas miracle!!!

Backstage, Kevin Patrick spoke with Finn Balor, who was hit from behind by Austin Theory. Theory slammed Balor onto a production case and took a selfie…

Edge made his entrance for The Cutting Edge talkshow segment… [C] The top ten WWE Instagram photos of the week were shown…

Vince McMahon was shown writing in a notebook when Austin Theory knocked on the door and entered the room. Theory noted that he lost to Finn Balor, but he got him back afterward. Vince spoke about how he enjoys firing people, particularly before the holidays. Vince said he would give Theory another chance by giving him a rematch next week.

[Hour Three] Vince used his eraser and then blew the remains in Theory’s face and then belted out “ho, ho, ho”…

Powell’s POV: You see, this is super hilarious because WWE actually did fire a bunch of wrestlers shortly before the holidays. And what makes it even funnier is that some of those wrestlers have families. You know what would be really funny? Maybe next week Vince can mock any former WWE wrestler who died during 2021. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with these people?

Edge introduced Maryse as his guest on The Cutting Edge. He asked her how frustrating it is be married to Miz. She said she and Edge won’t be friends or hang out. She said she was on Edge’s show because Miz won’t let her speak on his talkshow.

Maryse said Edge could have hurt her last week. She said people need to realize that she has children and asked who would take care of her kids if something happened to her. Maryse asked Edge if he ever would have done this to his wife.

Edge said he was sorry that her life was some type of horrible country song. He asked the crowd if anyone was buying this. The fans booed. Edge said he knew that she was trying to distract him so that Miz could attack him from behind or something. Edge said he would not use his wife as a shield because he respects her. Edge called out Miz.

The Miz’s music played and he tried to attack Edge from behind, but Edge fought him off. Maryse hit Edge with her purse, and then Miz put Edge down with a Skull Crushing Finale. Maryse laughed and kissed Miz…

Rhea Ripley made her entrance for a match against Zelina Vega… [C]

Powell’s POV: On the bright side, at least Edge didn’t have to look like a gullible idiot. But it still makes you question why they didn’t just come up with something better. I assume Beth Phoenix will be showing up next week or at the pay-per-view. Either way, the suspected mixed tag match seems to be in play for WWE Day 1 or the Royal Rumble pay-per-view.

The Veer Mahaan video aired. Yes, he’s still listed as coming to Raw… Queen Zelina made her entrance and delivered another royalty promo as she walked to the ring…

6. Rhea Ripley vs. Queen Zelina. Graves noted that Nikki ASH and Carmella were banned from ringside for the duration of the match. ASH was shown watching the match on a backstage monitor. Zelina blasted Ripley with a knee to the chin and covered her for a two count. Ripley came right back and hit her Riptide finisher and scored the pin.

Rhea Ripley defeated Queen Zelina in 2:10.

After the match, Smith said there may be something to Graves saying that Ripley was better off without ASH…

Backstage, Sarah Schreiber asked Big E about teaming with Lashley. He said it wasn’t about coexisting, it was about setting the tone for WWE Day 1. Lashley showed up and Schreiber left the scene. Big E wondered what might happen to him. Lashley said he didn’t need MVP or anyone else when he beat Big E. Lashley asked if he could trust Big E, who told him to leave MVP in the back…

Liv Morgan made her entrance dressed in non-wrestling attire. Footage aired of Morgan showing up at Becky Lynch’s gym and wrestling a kendo stick away from her… [C] A graphic touted Big E’s college football and powerlifting exploits…

Liv Morgan stood in the ring with a kendo stick in one hand, and she had a brace on the other. She recalled challenging Lynch to a title match last week. She said Lynch tried to injure her before accepting a rematch. She recalled Lynch saying she was going home to train and then explained that she knew she would go to her gym to even out the playing field.

Morgan said little did she know that this was what Lynch had in mind. She set up the footage that aired on social media of Lynch training in the ring while a bunch of students patted the mat. Morgan showed up inside the ring while a redhead was working over another student. Morgan hit the redhead with the kendo stick and then realized it wasn’t Lynch.

Becky Lynch showed up behind Morgan and took the stick from her. Lynch swung the stick, but Morgan ducked it. Lynch hit her with the stick a few times anyway, but Morgan eventually blocked a shot and put her down with an enzuigiri. Morgan got the kendo stick and beat Lynch until she fled the ring. Lynch ordered the students to get Morgan, but they tried to talk her down instead.

Back live, Morgan laughed it off and admitted that Lynch might have been a step ahead of her. She said that Lynch was so threatened by her that she had one of her students in disguise because she knew she was coming for payback. Morgan said she didn’t meant to beat up an innocent woman. She said Lynch sacrificed one of her students and didn’t even care.

Morgan said she would take the title and then Lynch would have all the time in the world to hang out with her baby and her husband. She said she would break Lynch’s face and become the new Raw Women’s Champion.

Becky Lynch made her entrance and spoke from the entrance aisle. Lynch said Morgan may have broken the elbow of her student. She said you have to crack a few eggs if you want to make an omelette. She said it would take more than a few shots with a kendo stick to put her down and when you are big time, you don’t have time to be down.

Lynch said Morgan stepped up more than she thought she would and made a spotlight for herself. Lynch said it gets hot under those lights and she doesn’t think Morgan can handle the heat. Morgan said Lynch couldn’t scare her out of the match and she would start the year as the new champion.

Morgan invited Lynch to join her in the ring. Lynch said she wasn’t foolish enough to enter the ring while Morgan is swinging around a kendo stick like a maniac. Morgan said she didn’t bring the kendo stick for her, she brought it for Lynch, then tossed it to ringside. Lynch said she had a private jet to catch and then left the ring…

Powell’s POV: Morgan had the unenviable task of having to set up the video footage, which required her to be really wordy. The segment was decent, but the live crowd didn’t seem to be taking sides as much as just sitting back and listening. Lynch plays her heel role really well, but it just doesn’t seem like the fans want to boo her.

Rollins and Owens were shown talking backstage and then Big E made his entrance for the tag team main event… [C] Bobby Lashley made his entrance, and then Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens followed with their own entrances.

The broadcast team hyped AJ Styles vs. Omos, Randy Orton vs. Otis, Finn Balor vs. Austin Theory, and Damian Priest vs. Dolph Ziggler for the U.S. Championship for next week’s Raw in Detroit, Michigan…

Powell’s POV: I assume Styles vs. Omos is going to be more of an angle than a match, as that’s definitely something that should be saved for a pay-per-view event. Meanwhile, it’s interesting that they didn’t include the Mysterios vs. Street Profits match that was postponed once before. They mentioned it earlier, so perhaps it will still take place even though it wasn’t listed with these matches.

7. Big E and Bobby Lashley vs. Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens. Big E dumped Rollins to the floor where Lashley ran him over with a shoulder block during the opening minute of the match. [C] The heel duo took offensive control. Owens got a near fall on Big E heading into the final break. [C]

Lashley performed a power slam on Rollins and had him pinned, but Owens broke it up. Big E went after Owens, who caught him with a knee when he tried to spear him off the apron. Moments later, Lashley attempted to spear Rollins, who moved, causing Lashley to spear Big E instead. Lashley speared and pinned Owens.

Big E and Bobby Lashley beat Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens in 14:00.

After the three count, Rollins immediately hit Lashley with the Stomp. Rollins and Owens took Lashley to ringside and hit him with the top piece of the ring steps. They followed up with a double powerbomb on the apron. Rollins pulled the bottom half of the ring steps away from the post.

Owens put Lashley over steps and held him while Rollins teased Stomping him. Rollins backed off and acted like he wasn’t going to do it, then ran up the steps and drove Lashley’s head onto the steps with a Stomp.

Rollins and Owens entered the ring and shook hands. They turned away from one another and then both men turned back and moved quickly toward one another only to hug. A graphic listed Rhea Ripley, Austin Theory, The Miz, and Maryse for Raw Talk…

Powell’s POV: A good main event with a post match angle that put heat on the heel duo of Rollins and Owens and made them look like a unit heading into the four-way match at the pay-per-view. As much as I would like to see them stay together, my guess is that their partnership falls apart during the four-way. Meanwhile, Lashley was made to look sympathetic and he had issues with MVP earlier in the night, so he’s either turning babyface or this is a swerve. There’s a lot happening and it should make for a very interesting WWE Championship match at WWE Day 1.

Overall, Raw is definitely an improved show. Everything on this show felt like it served a purpose and wasn’t just there to fill time. It doesn’t mean that everything is clicking, but the show continues to be so much better than it was prior to the WWE Draft. I will have more to say about the show in my weekly same night audio review. Let me know what you thought of Raw by grading it below. Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate the holiday.

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Readers Comments (4)

  1. Small correction, Jason. I think you’ll find Maryse hit Edge with her purse. Sherri Martel re-visited?

  2. THe more I see Vince McMahon on TV, the creepier he looks. Like he had some really wretched plastic surgery; like he has a permanent ricktus grin. UGH

  3. Rollins had a tag buddy AoP? right

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