12/19 WWE Raw results: Powell’s live review of the final live Raw of 2022 featuring Dexter Lumis vs. The Miz in a ladder match for two bags of cash, Becky Lynch vs. Bayley, “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins vs. Finn Balor and Damian Priest


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

WWE Raw (Episode 1,543)
Live from Des Moines, Iowa at Wells Fargo Arena
Aired December 19, 2022 on USA Network

[Hour One] Paul Heyman stood backstage holding the WWE Universal Championship and WWE Championship belts. Heyman introduced himself and noted that he works for Roman Reigns. The camera pulled back and showed that Reigns was seated in a chair beside Heyman.

Reigns said Raw is the home of Kevin Owens. Reigns said Owens continues to try to leave Raw and now he’s not by himself because he has John Cena. Reigns said Owens would need the entire Raw locker room to have his back because Owens has interfered in his business too much. Reigns said The Bloodline will make Owens’ life a miserable hell until he and everyone else in the locker room acknowledges The Bloodline…

The Usos were shown playing to a backstage camera while Solo Sikoa held a wrestler that Sammy Zayn was punching. Sikoa picked up Mustafa Ali off the ground and spiked him… The Raw opening aired… The broadcast team was Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves, and Mike Rome was the ring announcer…

Powell’s POV: A fun and unexpected opening. I like that they are doing some crossover with this story of Owens and Cena facing Reigns and Zayn on the December 30 edition of Smackdown. Smackdown numbers have been strong while Raw numbers have dipped, so it’s a big boost for Raw to have more Bloodline involvement.

“The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins made their entrance with Akira Tozawa. Graves wondered if Tozawa was with the Profits due to there being strength in numbers following the warning from Reigns. The Judgment Day faction made their entrance. Dominik Mysterio wore shades after being sprayed with Asuka’s mist last week. Graves called him brave for appearing despite his injuries. Funny…

1. “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins vs. Finn Balor and Damian Priest (w/Rhea Ripley, Dominik Mysterio). Early in the match, footage aired of The Bloodline members beating up Andre Chase from NXT in the backstage area. Jey picked up a guitar and handed it to Sikoa for “a Solo performance.” Sikoa slammed the guitar over the head of Chase. Graves noted that Chase was at Raw due to competing on the WWE Main Event taping.

Meanwhile, Ford leapt off the ropes and was struck by Priest, who then delivered a shoulder block that sent Ford to ringside heading into a commercial break. [C] Late in the match, Tozawa threw whatever was in his solo cup at Ripley, who ducked, causing Dom to be hit with the liquid. Ford rolled up a distracted Balor and pinned him.

“The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins defeated Finn Balor and Damian Priest in 9:00.

After the match, Ripley left the ring and approached Tozawa, who was on the stage area that was set up with a Christmas theme. Ripley jawed at Tozawa and then punched him. Tozawa fell to the ground. Ripley challenged Tozawa to fight her. Ripley returned to the ring and motioned for Tozawa to join her. The Profits walked behind Tozawa as he approached the ring… [C]

Powell’s POV: The distraction finish was par for the course, but I really liked the hook of Ripley punching Tozawa and demanding that he come to the ring and fight her as the show went to break. We’ll see if anything actually happens, but it’s a really good attempt to hold the attention of viewers.

The Profits tried to fire up Tozawa about facing Ripley. He removed his jacket and let out a primal scream before entering the ring…

2. Rhea Ripley (w/Dominik Mysterio, Finn Balor, Damian Priest) vs. Akira Tozawa (w/Montez Ford, Angelo Dawkins). Ripley put Tozawa down with an early big boot. Ripley worked over Tozawa with kicks in the corner and then played to the crowd. Ripley put Tozawa down and then threw forearms shots to the back of his head. Ripley slammed Tozawa’s face onto the mat and hit him with another shot to the back of the head.

Tozawa tried and failed to suplex Ripley, who suplexed him instead and covered him for a two count. A short time later, Ripley caught Tozawa diving at her, but he ended up rolling her up for a two count. There was a clunky spot where Ripley dropped Tozawa. She powered him up, but he sent her out of the ring with a huracanrana.

Tozawa ran the ropes for a dive, but Balor tripped him. Ford and Dawkins entered the ring and performed flip dives onto Balor and Priest. In the ring, Tozawa avoided charging Ripley, who crashed into the corner. Tozawa knocked Dom off the apron. Tozawa went for a top rope senton that Ripley avoided. Ripley performed the Riptide and pinned Tozawa…

Rhea Ripley defeated Akira Tozawa in 4:55.

Powell’s POV: As much as I praised the creative forces for the hook heading into the commercial break, now I’m wondering if they would have been better off announcing this match in advance. That said, the approach they took with this match combined with the opening segment and Bloodline attacks has caused the show to feel far less formula than usual.

A video package recapped Seth Rollins beating Bobby Lashley to earn a U.S. Championship match on last week’s Raw. It also included footage of Lashley accidentally elbowing an official, which led to Adam Pearce firing him…

Adam Pearce was shown leaving Paul Heyman a voicemail in which he urged him to call him. Pearce ended the call and was asked by Cathy Kelley about the situation with Lashley. Pearce said they spoke in private at WWE Headquarters.

Pearce said it’s not a matter of if, but rather a matter of when Lashley returns to work. MVP approached Pearce and asked for a word. Pearce was receptive, but a referee showed up and told Pearce that he needed Pearce to come with him because something had happened…

“The OC” AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, and Mia Yim made their entrance. Gallows and Anderson will face Alpha Academy after the break… [C]

Cathy Kelley was backstage with a microphone where Adam Pearce, producer Shane Helms, and referees were helping Cedric Alexander and Dolph Ziggler to their feet after they were apparently beaten up by The Bloodline… Alpha Academy made their entrance…

3. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson (w/AJ Styles, Mia Yim) vs. “Alpha Academy” Chad Gable and Otis. Gallows knocked Otis off his feet with a leaping shoulder block. Otis rolled to ringside. Gable ran in and was dumped by Anderson over the top rope and onto Otis on the floor. [C]

Late in the match, Otis held up Gallows and then Gable leapt off the top rope and slammed into the back of Otis, who crushed Gallows. Anderson broke up the pin. Gallows avoided a top rope moonsault and then kicked Gable. Anderson tagged in and joined Gallows in hitting the Magic Killer on Gable before pinning him…

Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson beat “Alpha Academy” Chad Gable and Otis in 9:05.

After the match, The OC was standing in the ring and mugging for the cameras when they were attacked from behind by Bloodline members Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, and Sami Zayn. The Usos put Gallows down with their 1D finisher. Adam Pearce led a group of security guards to the ring… [C]

Powell’s POV: Another good hook heading into a commercial break. The match was fine, though Gallows and Anderson feel flat, and beating consistent match losers in Alpha Academy can only provide so much of a boost.

The Usos and Zayn were still inside the ring with microphones while Pearce and security remained on the floor. Zayn said what they did was a small taste of what he and Reigns would do when they face Cena and Owens. Zayn told Pearce they were going to leave anyway. The Usos and Zayn left the ring and security let them walk past them and then followed them toward the stage.

Suddenly, Styles dove into the picture and hit Zayn. Pearce, producers, and security separated Styles from The Bloodline…

The broadcast team recapped footage of Alexa Bliss becoming the No. 1 contender and then teasing a Sister Abigail on Bianca Belair afterward…

Backstage, Styles demanded to face one of the Bloodline members. Pearce announced Styles vs. Zayn for later in the show…

Byron Saxton conducted a sit-down interview with Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair and Alexa Bliss. Saxton asked Bliss what happened last week. Belair said she’s been wondering too and does not trust Bliss.

[Hour Two] Bliss said she couldn’t really explain it all now, but she could talk about what happened in the past. Bliss said Bray Wyatt abducted her and turned her into a dark and evil version of herself and then left her, which caused abandonment issues. Bliss said she went to therapy and that turned her into a shell of a person she doesn’t recognize and is still trying to work through. She said that her friendship with Belair and Asuka made her stronger.

Belair said she sympathizes with everything Bliss has been through, but she asked if Bliss really expects her to believe she didn’t know what happened last week. Bliss said Wyatt isn’t a threat to Belair, she is a threat to her. Bliss said she was winning championships before Belair came to WWE and said she can do it again. “Come do it, then,” Belair said. Saxton wrapped up the interview. The Wyatt symbol flashed on the television behind them. When both women stood up to leave, Bliss grabbed a flower vase and slammed it over the back of Belair’s head…

Patrick announced Belair vs. Bliss for the Raw Women’s Championship for January 2 on the first Raw of 2023… The cash bags were shown being raised over the ring for the ladder match. The Miz made his entrance… [C]

Powell’s POV: I blame Byron. Clearly, Bliss is triggered by the Wyatt symbol appearing on television screens. Byron is aware of this and opted to hold the interview on a set with a television screen. He knows what he’s doing. Don’t let his nice guy act fool you! Anyway, this was more of the same in a good way.

Dexter Lumis made his entrance along with Johnny Gargano…

4. Dexter Lumis (w/Johnny Gargano) vs. The Miz in a ladder match for two bags of cash. The bell rang to start the match and Miz immediately rolled to ringside where ladders were set up. Lumis followed and ran Miz into one of the ladders and then tossed himself inside the ring. Lumis also grabbed a ladder and wanted to slide it in the ring, but Miz dropkicked the ladder into Lumis.

A short time later, Lumis performed a superplex from the middle rope. With Miz down in the corner, Lumis tipped a ladder over the fell between Miz’s legs. Lumis set up a ladder and made a play for the cash. Miz rushed up the ladder to cut him off. They tipped the ladder over and both men crashed onto the mat. [C]

Miz got his hands on the money bags, but Lumis pulled him down. Lumis put Miz in a standing version of his submission hold. Miz reached the ropes and countered into a neckbreaker onto the apron (kinda). Miz slammed a ladder onto Lumis. Miz put Lumis inside the laddeer and slammed it shut multiple times. Miz threw another ladder and various chairs onto Lumis.

The crowd chanted for tables. Miz teased pulling one out and then taunted the crowd. Miz attacked Gargano and then ran him into the barricade. Miz picked up a ladder and used it to knock Gargano over the barricade. Mia played to the crowd and then turned and spotted that Lumis was up and staring at him. Lumis performed a uranage slam onto a ladder.

Lumis looked to the crowd and they chanted for tables again. Lumis cleared the broadcast table and then placed Miz on top of it. Lumis climbed a ladder that was standing up next to the table. Lumis went for a leg drop off the ladder, but Miz rolled out of the way, causing Lumis to crash through the broadcast table. A “holy shit” chant was censored (ugh).

Miz rolled into the ring and set up a ladder while hopping on one leg. Miz climbed the ladder and got his hands on the money, but Lumis returned to the ring and climbed up the other side of the ladder. Lumis threw Miz off the ladder. Lumis reached up and put his hands on the bag.

Bronson Reed (a/k/a Jonah) appeared and pulled Lumis off the ladder. Reed went up top and splashed Lumis. Graves said it wasn’t a splash, it was a Tsunami. Reed helped Miz to his feet and then helped him up the ladder. Miz took the money bags down to win the match…

The Miz defeated Dexter Lumis in 18:20 in a ladder match.

Powell’s POV: The crowd loved tables, but they were very quiet early on despite how much television time this feud has received. They were also quiet for Reed’s return. For those who don’t know, Reed was an NXT standout who was thought to be on the verge of being called up to the main roster when he was released from his deal. He used the name Jonah while working in Impact Wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and elsewhere. He’s the latest Paul Levesque rehire and a good one. I just hope he didn’t return to do a bunch of tag matches with The Miz against Lumis and Gargano.

Backstage, Rollins checked out his “Iowa’s Own” t-shirt while the broadcast team hyped his homecoming. They also hyped Becky Lynch vs. Bayley, and then recapped footage of The Bloodline’s various segments… AJ Styles made his entrance for his match against Sami Zayn… [C]

Des Moines imagery was shown and then Sami Zayn made his entrance. Patrick hyped John Cena and Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn for the December 30 edition of Smackdown…

5. AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn. Styles dominated Zayn to start, but Zayn eventually clotheslined Zayn over the top rope. Styles came back and set up for his finisher, but Zayn crashed into the ropes, which sent Styles to the floor. [C] Zayn put Styles down with a nice brainbuster for a near fall.

Styles came back with a Pele Kick. “We call that a Messi now,” Graves said on commentary in a timely reference to Sunday’s World Cup finals hero. Zayn executed an exploder suplex and then set up in the opposite corner. Zayn went for a Helluva Kick, but Styles cut him off and rolled him into a Calf Crusher. Zayn reached the ropes to break the hold.

Solo Sikoa was shown walking into the arena from the old Shield entrance area. Zayn got the better of a distracted Styles for a moment, but Styles battled back quickly. Styles set up for his finisher and then opted to attack Sikoa at ringside. Zayn went to the floor and was run into the broadcast table by Styles. The referee was distracted when Zayn returned to the ring, allowing Sikoa to hit Styles with a Samoan Spike. Zayn hit Styles with a Blue Thunder Bomb and pinned him.

Sami Zayn defeated AJ Styles in 12:15.

After the match, Pearce came out without a microphone and barked at Zayn while Zayn and Sikoa were heading toward the back…

Seth Rollins was shown dancing backstage… [C] An ad for next week’s Raw listed the show as “The Absolute Best of Raw 2022″…

Powell’s POV: No, I don’t think “Absolute” part of “The Absolute Best of Raw 2022” is a tease for Ricky Starks. Anyway, the match featured the usual distraction style finish, and you had to know Zayn would go over given his involvement in the big Smackdown tag team match. Jumping back to next week’s Raw, I am going to do something next Monday that I never get to do – watch Monday Night Football live. I will have a Raw report available on delay. I think this all but guarantees that next week’s MNF game is going to be a lopsided dud.

Home state hero Seth Rollins made his entrance. Graves announced Austin Theory vs. Seth Rollins for the U.S. Title on the January 2 edition of Raw. Rollins started off by playing to the host city and welcomed them to Monday Night Rollins. “I’m back, baby, I’m better than ever,” Rollins said.

Rollins said The Bloodline was in the house and they were jumping everyone except him. Rollins said he’s not saying they are scared, but he had a message for them to deliver to The Tribal Chief. “Roman, Monday don’t belong to you,” Rollins said before saying it belongs to him.

[Hour Three] U.S. Champion Austin Theory made his entrance and joined Rollins inside the ring. Theory said nothing belongs to Rollins. He recalled Rollins stating that the U.S. Title is the title of Raw. Theory said that can mean only one thing – that the champ is here. Theory said his era is forever and this is just the beginning.

Theory said that Rollins would pass the torch to him whether he likes it or not. Theory said that if Rollins doesn’t pass it to him, he will take it from his cold, legendary fingers. “Well, Merry Christmas to you too, kid,” Rollins said. Rollins warned Theory to keep his cool or he’d end up like Bobby Lashley.

Theory said Rollins has gotten lucky throughout his entire career. Rollins questioned why Theory is so angry when he has so many things going for him. Rollins said Theory will never be him. Theory questioned how many times Rollins has fumbled the ball just like the Bears.

Theory spoke about Rollins going to the mountain top and said that once he falls off the peak, he will go home and come to the realization that he is the third most successful member of The Shield. Rollins said Theory has it wrong, he is the damn mountain top. Rollins dared Theory to show him what kind of man he is.

Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso showed up at ringside. “Hey, we’ve got company,” Rollins told Theory. “Let’s deal with this later.” Rollins and Theory started to remove their jackets once the Usos climbed onto the apron. Theory kept his jacket on and then left the ring with his title belt, leaving Rollins to face both Usos. The Usos entered the ring and quickly got the better of Rollins.

Kevin Owens’ entrance music played and he made his entrance to a strong reaction. Jimmy went to ringside and took a swing at Owens, who ducked it and ran him into the barricade. Owens entered the ring and was attacked by Jey. Rollins pulled Jey off and punched him to clear him from the ring.

Pearce and producers ran out and escorted The Usos toward the back while Rollins told Owens that it was nice to see him. Rollins asked Owens if he was thinking what he was thinking. “Yeah, I think Des Moines wants to see the two of us kick their asses,” Owens replied. Owens called for a tag match. Pearce made the match official…

Powell’s POV: A very good segment that provided strong hype for the Rollins vs. Theory match on January 2, as well as this show’s main event.

Becky Lynch delivered a backstage promo. She said Bayley has been playing a cat and mouse game since she returned. Lynch said she wants the best version of Bayley and said said the best version is the solo version. Lynch spoke about their similarities and said the difference is that she did things by herself. Lynch said that if you’re going to stab her in the back, then at least be the one holding the knife. She said that whether it’s one-on-one or one-on-three, she would die on her own sword…

“Damage CTRL” Bayley, Iyo Sky, and Dakota Kai made their entrance… [C] A graphic touted that WWE has reached over 20 million followers on TikTok… Becky Lynch made her entrance to a big ovation…

6. Becky Lynch vs. Bayley (w/Iyo Sky, Dakota Kai). Lynch was in offensive control when Bayley tripped her up near the ropes. Lynch caught Sky attempting to slap her. Lynch came back and set up for her finisher on the apron, but Bayley avoided it and slammed Lynch’s face onto the middle rope. [C]

Lynch avoided a Bayley To Belly attempt and then put her down with an inverted DDT that led to a two count. Lynch draped Bayley over the middle of the rope and went for a leg drop from the ropes, but Bayley moved. Lynch landed on her feet and dragged Bayley into the ring. Bayley put Lynch down with a Bayley To Belly suplex for a near fall.

Bayley barked that she’s a role model. Lynch slapped her and then stuffed her Rose Plant attempt. Lynch performed a Diamond Dust Stunner for a near fall. Bayley tripped Lynch and tried to pin her while using the ropes for leverage, but the referee spotted it. Lynch went for her finisher, but Sky and Kai grabbed Bayley’s legs to block it. Lynch performed a baseball slide.

The referee ejected Sky and Kai from ringside. Sky and Kai protested. Lynch attacked Kai. Bayley hit a distracted Lynch from behind and then put her down using her Rose Plant finisher. Bayley covered Lynch for the three count…

Bayley defeated Becky Lynch in 14:20.

The Usos were shown warming up backstage… An ad for Smackdown hyped the previously advertised matches… [C]

Powell’s POV: As hot as the crowd was for Lynch during her entrance, they faded as the match went on. I’m down on the number of cheap finishes that occur on WWE television, but I can’t complain about Bayley going over in cheap fashion to create the need for a rematch.

Patrick and Graves hyped Undertaker’s one-man show for February 16 in Montreal. They also narrated highlights of Owens saving Rollins from an Usos attack…

Backstage, Rollins told Owens it had been a long time. Owens recalled Rollins trying to steal his WrestleMania spot. Rollins acted like he didn’t remember and said it wasn’t him. Owens said Rollins looked marvelous, but it was him. Owens said it’s moot because tonight is about beating the hell out of The Bloodline… The Usos made their entrance… [C]

Patrick hyped a text number for WWE breaking news… Graves hyped Cena and Owens vs. Reigns and Zayn for the December 30 edition of Smackdown… Owens and Rollins made their entrances for the main event. The broadcast team hyped next week’s “absolute best of 2022” edition of Raw…

7. Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso vs. Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens in a non-title match. The teams fought briefly before the bell. Owens got the better of Jey early on and called out for “Sami Uso.” Jimmy hit Owens with a cheap shot from the apron. [C]

Solo Sikoa hopped the barricade while Owens was getting the better of Jimmy. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson showed up and attacked Sikoa. Jey dove onto the pile at ringside. Rollins dove onto the pile. Sikoa charged Rollins, who ducked, causing Sikoa to run into the ring post. Rollins put Jey down with a Stomp on the floor. Austin Theory reached over the barricade and hit Rollins with the U.S. Title belt.

In the ring, Jimmy went for a superplex, but Owens fought him off and headbutted him off the ropes. Owens dropped down and charged Jimmy, who superkicked him and then covered him for a near fall. A “this is awesome” chant broke out. Jimmy went up top and Owens avoided the move he was going for.

Owens kicked Jimmy, who blocked a Stunner. Owens stuffed a superkick and then landed one of his own. Owens went for a popup move, but Jimmy leapt over him. Jimmy charged Owens, who ducked a clothesline. Jimmy ran the ropes and took a Popup Powerbomb before being pinned.

Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens defeated Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso in 10:50 in a non-title match.

Graves said he could guarantee that Roman Reigns was unhappy about Rollins and Owens beating The Usos. Highlights from the match were shown. Owens was celebrating his win when Sami Zayn entered the ring behind him and stopped in his tracks when Owens spotted him. Owens removed his wrist tape. Zayn smiled and left the ring and then jawed at Owens from the floor.

Zayn joined the Usos and Sikoa while Graves hyped Cena and Owens vs. Reigns and Zayn for the December 30 edition of Smackdown. Patrick hyped Theory vs. Rollins for the U.S. Championship on the January 2 Raw. A graphic listed Bayley, Elias, and Rhea Ripley as the guests for Raw Talk. Owens jawed at the heels and Rollins was shown getting to his feet at ringside to close the show…

Powell’s POV: A fun main event with Owens and Rollins picking up a non-title win over the Usos. Obviously, they can revisit this and go with a tag team title match at some point. In this case, I really enjoyed the stuff at ringside with Sikoa, Gallows and Anderson, and Theory. They closed a good show with a strong main event.

Overall, this not a “throw in the towel” style holiday week edition of Raw. Oddly enough, it felt like they took that approach last week instead and then opted to turn things up again for the last live edition of 2022. I will be back shortly with my weekly same night (except for next week!) audio review of WWE Raw for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah, gang.

WWE Raw Poll: Grade the December 19 edition

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Readers Comments (3)

  1. You’re right,Jason – it was Byron all along!!!

  2. Too many distraction finishes. Raw has been somewhat better lately, but almost every match ending in a distraction is just lazy booking.

  3. Raw has gone 8 straight weeks under 1.7 million viewers. Hour 3 of the 12/5 Raw was the least watched hour of the show in history.

    It hasn’t been better recently, it’s literally been the worst it has ever been.

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