11/21 WWE Raw results: Powell’s live review of Rhea Ripley vs. Asuka in a WarGames advantage match, the brand’s final push for WWE Survivor Series WarGames

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

WWE Raw (Episode 1,539)
Live from Albany, New York at MVP Arena
Aired November 21, 2022 on USA Network

[Hour One] The Raw opening aired and then pyro shot off the stage. Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves were on commentary, and Mike Rome was the ring announcer…

Kevin Owens made his entrance and delivered an in-ring promo. Owens spoke about teaming with Drew McIntyre and The Brawling Brutes to face The Bloodline in a WarGames match. Owens spoke about nearly beating Roman Reigns three times in the past. He said he was coming to take out the rest of The Bloodline so that there would be no one to stop him from kicking Roman’s ass and taking his title. Owens said he didn’t come alone.

Drew McIntyre and “The Brawling Brutes” Sheamus, Ridge Holland, and Butch made their entrance through the crowd (the only Shield entrance location). Graves plugged McIntyre and Sheamus vs. The Usos in the WarGames advantage match for Friday’s Smackdown television show.

Sheamus said the WarGames match would be painstaking and career altering. Sheamus recalled telling Sami Zayn that he would be shocked by the fifth member of his team, and then revealing that it would be Owens. McIntyre said The Bloodline have taken advantage of the numbers advantage and that all ends on Saturday. McIntyre asked the crowd if they are ready for the war.

“The Judgment Day” theme played and then Rhea Ripley, Dominik Mysterio, Finn Balor, and Damian Priest appeared on the stage. Ripley said the only thing people would be talking about after Survivor Series is how many people she destroys in the women’s WarGames match.

Ripley said the Judgment Day runs Raw. Dom told the babyfaces to go back to Smackdown and tell his “deadbeat dad” that he said hello. Balor said he hopes The Bloodline smashes the babyface team at Survivor Series. Balor said the next time they show their ugly mugs on Raw, the Judgment Day won’t be so nice.

Sheamus noted that he and Balor are Irish, but he said he doesn’t respect Balor. Sheamus said he’s wanted to get Balor in the ring for a singles match, then he shifted to calling for The Judgment Day vs. The Brawling Brutes on the spot. Balor said they were speaking their language, and then Priest said they accept. The male Judgment Day wrestlers hit the ring and were quickly cleared by The Brawling Brutes… [C]

Powell’s POV: McIntyre, Owens, and Sheamus all did a nice job while Holland and Butch were limited to saying it’s Fight Night. McIntyre hit the key point by talking about putting an end to the numbers advantage that The Bloodline typically has. That said, I do have to question what the point of the brand split is if the rules are never enforced.

1. “The Brawling Brutes” Sheamus, Ridge Holland, and Butch (w/Drew McIntyre) vs. “The Judgment Day” Dominik Mysterio, Finn Balor, and Damian Priest (w/Rhea Ripley). The match was joined in progress. Kevin Owens sat in on commentary. Graves questioned how Owens’ partners could trust him given his relationship with Sami Zayn. Owens said Zayn is like a brother and said he’s turned on him before.

Owens said he would never turn on his father, and that’s why he considers Dom a scumbag. Dom worked over Holland at one point, which drew a loud “Who’s your daddy?” chant. Ripley pointed at herself. Funny. Priest chokeslammed Butch onto the ring apron heading into a break. [C]

Dom attempted to leave at one point, but “The OC” AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, and Mia Yim made their entrance. Sheamus brought Dom back to the ring and set up for Ten Beats, but Priest distracted him. Sheamus eventually hit a double dose of Ten Beats on Dom, which got a big rise out of the crowd. Sheamus followed up with a Brogue Kick on Dom and then pinned him.

“The Brawling Brutes” Sheamus, Ridge Holland, and Butch beat “The Judgment Day” Dominik Mysterio, Finn Balor, and Damian Priest in 14:50 of television time.

Balor attacked Sheamus after the match. Gallows took out Priest with a kick. Balor was left alone in the ring. Owens entered the ring behind him. Owens ended up kicking Balor and putting him down with a Stunner while McIntyre sat back and watched in the broadcast chair that Owens vacated…

Powell’s POV: I was surprised to see Dom take the pin, but it’s not like he doesn’t have enough heat to bounce right back. Ripley was really good at ringside when she was yelling at Dom to get out of the ring while Sheamus was setting up for the Brogue Kick.

Johnny Gargano was shown walking backstage. Cathy Kelley caught up with him and spoke about facing The Miz in a rematch. Gargano said he and Dexter Lumis had an agreement that Lumis wouldn’t get involved in his business tonight, and he won’t get involved in Lumis’s business when he faces Miz next week… [C]

Graves thanked Ozzy Osbourne for “Parasite” being one of the Survivor Series WarGames theme songs…

Johnny Gargano made his entrance for his match. The Miz came out in non-wrestling attire and hand his hand bandaged. Miz claimed he suffered an injury filming a TikTok video. He said he knows Gargano goes by Johnny Wrestling and wants to impress everyone, so he did the right thing by finding a worthy opponent. Omos made his entrance with MVP while Gargano looked dejected in the ring…

2. Omos (w/MVP) vs. Johnny Gargano. The Miz sat in on commentary. Gargano ended up at ringside during the opening minute. Omos followed and pressed his head onto the broadcast table before throwing him back inside the ring. Gargano dropkicked Omos through the ropes and then hit him with a suicide dive.

Gargano returned to the ring and then dove over the top rope, but Omos caught him and dropped him on the ring apron. Gargano threw a couple of kicks at Omos and then set up for a move on the apron. Miz left the broadcast table and pulled Gargano to the floor.

Omos grabbed a distracted Gargano by the head and set up for his finisher, but Gargano delivered a knee to his head. Omos charged Gargano, who moved, causing Omos to hit his head on the ring post casing. Omos fell to the mat. Gargano superkicked Omos three times while he was down on his side. Gargano went up top and dove at Omos, who caught him by the throat. Omos stood up and chokeslammed Gargano, then covered him for the win…

Omos defeated Johnny Gargano in 3:10.

Seth Rollins was shown being mic’d up for a sit-down interview… [C]

Powell’s POV: This went much better than I would have anticipated in terms of making Gargano look good in defeat. I also got a kick out of Miz on commentary acting like he was doing Gargano a favor by giving him a chance to prove himself.

A video package recapped Austin Theory’s big night on last week’s Raw…

Graves announced Seth Rollins vs. Austin Theory vs. Bobby Lashley in a Triple Threat for the U.S. Championship for the Survivor Series WarGames event…

Rollins was interviewed “via satellite” by Graves, who asked him how he’s feeling. Rollins spoke about being attacked by Lashley and Theory, then said he’s never felt better. Rollins said he asked for the Triple Threat because he had a bone to pick with both men and called it a “two birds with one stone situation.”

Rollins said you have to use quickness and survive Lashley. He said Theory lost everything and might be more dangerous than ever. Rollins said Theory might be the dumbest person alive. He said it’s not because Theory tried to cash in on his U.S. Title, which Rollins endorsed while pointing out his own history of cashing in.

Rollins said it’s because Theory tried to make a name for himself at his expense. Rollins told Theory to call Cody Rhodes and ask him how his rehab is going. Rollins said Lashley is a brute and he’s dealt with those types and he knows Theory like the back of his hand because he used to be him. Rollins said the real question is what his challengers would do to prepare for him…

Austin Theory was shown watching the Rollins interview on a backstage monitor. Theory turned and looked into the camera and said Rollins doesn’t understand him and nobody does. He said hitting rock bottom may have been the best thing that ever happened to him. Theory said he’s a new man. Theory told his opponents to watch what he does tonight because it would likely be the result when they meet on Saturday…

Powell’s POV: The Triple Threat is a welcome addition to the Survivor Series WarGames event. It’s interesting that Rollins is working as a babyface and continues to take credit for Cody Rhodes’ injury.

Mustafa Ali made his entrance with his ribs wrapped.

[Hour Two] Austin Theory made his entrance. Graves said he thinks it’s a mistake for Ali to face this version of Theory while dealing with injured ribs…

3. Austin Theory vs. Mustafa Ali. Theory went right after Ali’s ribs to start the match. Ali rallied with a nice DDT. Theory stuffed Ali’s suicide dive attempt and then shoved him into the apron. Theory rolled Ali back inside the ring and then went for a rolling move through the ropes, but Theory superkicked him and covered him for a two count.

Theory hung up Ali in a tree of woe and then attacked him with punches and kicks until he fell down from the ropes. Theory placed Ali on the top turnbuckle. Ali fought back and performed a sunset bomb from the ropes. Ali performed a 450 splash. Theory rolled to the floor to avoid being covered. Theory regained offensive control and hit the A-Town Down for the win.

Austin Theory defeated Mustafa Ali in 5:45.

After the match, Bobby Lashley appeared on the big screen and told Theory that if he wanted his attention, he has it now. Lashley told Theory, who had some blood on his nose, to stay in the ring and they could give everyone a Survivor Series preview… [C]

Powell’s POV: A well worked match that took a similar approach as the previous match in terms of trying to make the babyface look good in defeat. I don’t think it’s really working for Ali, as the live crowds continue to be noticeably quiet during his matches aside from reacting to the occasional high spot.

Bobby Lashley made his entrance coming out of the break and spoke as he walked to the ring. Lashley said he was surprised that Theory was still in the ring and didn’t take the first SUV out of town. Lashley said Theory was looking tough like he wanted to fight.

Lashley said Theory just had to pick up the scraps he left for him and he still couldn’t get the job done when he had the Money in the Bank contract. Theory said everyone knows that he would be the U.S. Champion if it wasn’t for Lashley. Theory said Brock Lesnar kicked Lashley’s ass, and then Rollins beat Lashley for the U.S. Title. Theory said Lashley wanted redemption and couldn’t get the job done at Crown Jewel.

Theory said Lashley and Rollins think they are stepping in the ring with the same kid that he was previously. Theory said he would walk out of Survivor Series with the U.S. Title and there was nothing that Lashley or Rollins could do about it. Lashley told Theory he didn’t think he’d walk out of Raw tonight.

Lashley entered the ring and Theory threw punches at him. Lashley battled back and then suplexed Theory, who rolled to ringside. Lashley followed him to the floor, hoisted him up, and tried to run him into the ring post, but Theory slipped away. Lashley tossed Theory into the timekeepers area.

Lashley reached over the barricade to grab Theory, who hit him with a chair. Theory slammed the chair over the back of Lashley, who no-sold it. Theory ran to the back with Lashley in pursuit. Ali was seated in a chair in the backstage area and was selling his ribs. Theory picked up Ali and threw him into Lashley once he arrived in the area. Lashley dragged Ali to the stage and ran him into the video wall. Lashley put Ali in the Hurt Lock and then left him lying… [C]

Powell’s POV: The new and improved Theory is a big improvement. I like the way he stood his ground and talked shit to Lashley rather than backing down in fear. Granted, he ended up running away after Lashley no-sold the chair shot, but they still managed to establish that Theory is now a grown man and not the doofus kid who took selfies and sucked up to Vince McMahon. Meanwhile, Ali just comes off like a punching bag with a hairstyle that doesn’t work for him (okay, that’s coming from a bald guy, so consider the source).

4. Matt Riddle and Elias vs. “Alpha Academy” Chad Gable and Otis. Gable did his shooosh bit, and then Elias backdropped him. Gable rolled to ringside. [C] After a few more minutes of action, Gable performed a German suplex on Riddle on the apron. Riddle fell to the floor and moaned in agony heading into another break. [C]

Otis held up Riddle and then Gable performed a top rope bulldog. Otis covered Riddle for a near fall. Otis went to the ropes and attempted a second rope splash, which Riddle avoided. Both wrestlers tagged out. Elias got the better of Gable and put him down with a spinebuster. Elias followed up with a neckbreaker and covered Gable for a two count.

Gable came back with a huracanrana and then tagged out. Otis put Elias down and then Gable hit him with a flying headbutt. Otis had the pin, but Riddle broke it up with a Broton. Otis tossed Riddle to the floor and then tagged out. Gable held Elias in place and then Otis ran the ropes for a move, but Elias kicked him and tagged out.

Riddle performed a springboard dive onto both Alpha Academy members at ringside. Back in in the ring, Riddle caught Gable with a knee to the head. Moments later, Riddle hit Gable with a Floating Bro and scored the pin while Elias prevented Otis from break it up…

Matt Riddle and Elias beat “Alpha Academy” Chad Gable and Otis in 16:05.

Powell’s POV: A good match that killed a lot of television time, but I’m still not a fan of the Riddle and Elias pairing.

Baron Corbin counted his poker chips while JBL sat beside him. Both men took jabs at the host city. Drew McIntyre showed up. JBL took a shot at Scotland for not making the World Cup. McIntyre challenged Corbin to a match. Corbin said they could handle it on the spot. McIntyre said he respects his elders. “But not you,” McIntyre said before decking Corbin… [C]

The broadcast team spoke about WarGames. Graves noted the match is the creation of the late Dusty Rhodes. A video package on the men’s WarGames match was shown. The broadcast team ran through the previously advertised Survivor Series WarGames matches, including the newly added Rollins vs. Lashley vs. Theory match for the U.S. Title… Baron Corbin and JBL made their entrance… [C] Drew McIntyre made his entrance with his stupid sword in hand…

5. Drew McIntyre vs. Baron Corbin (w/JBL). McIntyre was dominant to start and clotheslined Corbin over the top rope to the floor.

[Hour Three] McIntyre went to ringside and ran Corbin into the barricade. McIntyre picked up Corbin and dumped him on the broadcast table. McIntyre tossed Corbin back inside the ring and then got distracted by JBL, which allowed Corbin to go on the offensive. A “Corbin sucks” chant broke out.

McIntyre rallied with a suplex and a neckbreaker. McIntyre kipped up. Corbin avoided a Future Shock DDT, but McIntyre put him down with a Michinoku Driver for a near fall. Corbin caught McIntyre going for a running crossbody block and performed a fallaway slam. McIntyre performed a Glasgow Kiss, but Corbin bounced off the ropes and put him down with a clothesline. [C]

McIntyre got a near fall following a spinebuster. McIntyre set up for a Future Shock DDT, but Corbin pushed him into the ropes and then tripped him. Corbin chokeslammed McIntyre to the mat and covered him for a two count. Corbin went for End of Days, but McIntyre slipped away and put Corbin down with a clunky Future Shock DDT.

McIntyre went for a Claymore Kick, but Corbin avoided it. Corbin hoisted up McIntyre and slammed him to the mat with a modified Samoan Drop for a two count. McIntyre rolled to ringside. Corbin followed and hit him with punches to the back of the head. Corbin ran McIntyre into the ring post.

Corbin charged McIntyre, who suplexed him into the barricade. McIntyre threw Corbin back inside the ring and then played to the crowd. McIntyre started a countdown, but he was distracted by JBL climbing onto the apron. McIntyre charged Corbin, who hit him with a Deep Six for a near fall. Corbin barked the referee about his count.

Akira Tozawa showed up on the broadcast table wearing actual ring gear and waved at Corbin. Tozawa stole JBL’s hat. In the ring, McIntyre hit Corbin with a Claymore Kick and then pinned him…

Drew McIntyre defeated Baron Corbin in 17:50.

The OC were shown talking backstage. The broadcast team said The OC would be featured in an interview after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: A good match aside from the clunky Future Shock DDT and the bad finish. It’s a shame because they had a couple of teases for the DDT before McIntyre hit the botched version of it on the third try. Meanwhile, I have no idea why the creative forces felt the need to go with a shitty distraction finish just to protect Corbin when there’s no sign that his act with JBL is clicking.

Graves plugged an Undertaker NFT that goes on sale tomorrow… The broadcast team recapped the opening six-man tag match…

AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, and Mia Yim were interviewed in the backstage area by Cathy Kelley. Styles said he and Finn Balor were close, but he’s come to realize that The OC is his family. Styles said he would give Balor the beating he deserves and would make it phenomenal.

Balor showed up and asked if Styles thinks he’s a bad guy. Balor said he’s worse, he’s the devil. He said when you dance with the devil, you never dance again. The other Judgment Day members showed up and a big brawl broke out. The brawl spilled out into the parking area outside the arena. A group of referees and security guards showed up to calm them down…

Powell’s POV: I still wish they would save the singles match for a later date and go with a Survivor Series elimination match even if it means going with fewer wrestlers on each side than usual. It’s great that WWE has added WarGames to the show and ditched the awful brand supremacy nonsense, but I’d still like to see at least one elimination match.

A video touted tickets being on sale for the WrestleMania Hollywood week events…

Bianca Belair, Asuka, and Alexa Bliss made their entrance to Belair’s theme. The broadcast team noted that Mia Yim was involved in the backstage brawl and was not with her WarGames teammates. Belair said her battle with Bayley would finally come to an end at WarGames. She said she knew she couldn’t win it alone and said there’s nobody she’d rather go to war with than her girls.

Belair introduced her partners. Belair said they are ready for war. Bliss said she wants to throw Nikki Cross in the trash where she belongs. Asuka yelled that “we are ready for you, but nobody is ready for us.” Belair said wait until they see who their fifth teammate is. She said they would make their decision on Smackdown and said the fans would not be disappointed. There were some boos from the crowd over not getting the reveal at their show.

Bayley lead Rhea Ripley, Nikki Cross, Iyo Sky, and Dakota Kai to the ring. Bayley mocked the idea of Belair’s team having another partner. Bayley said no one respects Belair, including her own teammates, who just want to be next in line for a shot at the championship.

Bayley ran down Belair and her partners, then said Belair was throwing Asuka in the advantage match rather than stepping up on her own. Asuka told her to shut up and called for the match to happen on the spot. Ripley said she would eradicate Asuka, just as she did at WrestleMania… [C]

6. Rhea Ripley vs. Asuka in a WarGames advantage match. None of the teammates were at ringside coming out of the break. Bayley, Nikki Cross, Iyo Sky, Dakota Kai were shown watching on a television in their dressing room, while Bianca Belair and Alexa Bliss watched another television in the backstage area.

Ripley took an early powder and taunted the fans at ringside before she returned to the ring. Asuka went for a hip attack, but Ripley caught her and slammed her to the mat. Ripley threw shots to the back of Asuka’s head. Ripley seated Asuka on the top turnbuckle. After a bit of back and forth, Ripley dropkicked Asuka, who tumbled to ringside. [C]

Ripley headbutted Asuka and then suplexed into a bridge for a two count. Ripley screamed at the referee about his count. Bayley, Cross, Sky, and Kai showed up at ringside. Belair and Bliss came out. Asuka caught Ripley in an armbar. Ripley rolled onto Asuka, who had to give up the hold to avoid being pinned. Ripley hit the Riptide and pinned Asuka.

Rhea Ripley defeated Asuka in roughly 18:00 to give her team the WarGames advantage.

After the match, Bayley pulled Asuka’s arm and they cut to replay footage. They went back to the ring and showed a brawl between the two sides. The babyfaces put up a fight, but the heels’ numbers game won out. Mia Yim ran out and brawled into the crowd with Ripley. Asuka went up top and dove onto the rest of the wrestlers while Graves questioned which team would survive on Saturday.

Patrick and Graves hyped the women’s WarGames match and noted that the final entrant would be revealed on Smackdown, then ran through the remainder of the card to close the show…

Powell’s POV: The main event never got out of second gear and the outcome felt predictable given that the heels typically have the advantage in WarGames matches. The post match brawl was fine, though hardly memorable, especially considering that there was another brawl involving The OC and Judgment Day that preceded the main event.

Overall, the use of The Brawling Brutes and Drew McIntyre goes against the rules of the nearly forgotten brand split, but there’s no denying that they helped make this a better show. While it’s disappointing that we have to wait until Friday to find out the identity of the fifth woman on the babyface team, this was an effective go-home show with a lot of hype for Survivor Series WarGames. I will be back later tonight with my weekly same night audio review of Raw for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).

WWE Raw Poll: Grade the November 21 edition

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Readers Comments (16)

  1. Johnny Deadcrowdo really can bring down a show. Killed all the momentum in 2 minutes flat.

  2. Poor, poor Gargano. Now reduced to jobbing to a novelty act that wore off the minute he turned on Styles.

  3. Imagine what a loser you have to be to watch something just so you whine and bitch about everything. The greatestturd ladies and gentlemen

  4. Lashley is believable enough to win any fight you put him. The one fight he just can’t seem to win is on the microphone. Lashley trying to cut a promo is unintentionally funnier than any R-Truth joke (which I get a kick out of) and hands down funnier than stupid Riddle jokes. And poor Ali just can’t get a break. It’s impossible to get behind him at this point.

  5. Otis growing his beard out seems to indicate the end of Alpha Academy coz he seems to be reverting to the goofy buffoon gimmick. What a waste. And by the way, JBL’s wrestling god act is a better fit for Lashley (who needs all the help he can get on the mic) not shitty bum-ass Corbin who’s better off getting cut (not by Drew’s stupid sword of course), as he’s just channel changing bad at this point.

  6. Well at least no-one mentioned the Minnesota Vikings.. Oops

  7. Props to Kairi Sane for becoming the first IWGP Women’s Champion.

  8. Asuka constantly squealing, both Asuka and Rhea botching a lot and having horrible timing, and the crowd being damn near silent says what we need to know about HHH’s booking right now.

    There’s good stuff in WWE, but almost none of it is on Monday nights at this point.

  9. I guess Raw is back to being a shit-show again because that was disappointing from beginning to end.

  10. Why with all your brilliance as far as wrestling knowledge you haven’t been hired by one of the big companies to book is beyond me. Just shut up greatestturd you 50 year old incel

  11. So the question of the week will be who’s the fifth member?

  12. With the announcement of member number five for Team Bianca being made on Smackdown – the odds are now stacked towards Liv Morgan IMHO. If it was going to be Beth or Candice as has been suggested, it should have been tonight and it wasn’t.

  13. Becky Lynch is the fifth member.

  14. Charlotte, Becky, and Liv are the ones that make the most sense if Smackdown as the reveal show means anything.

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