Welcome to The Shovel: WWE Raw Edition, otherwise known as the one where we get to find out whether or not Charlotte Flair is a ratings draw. Here's how it works. Nobody should have to sit through three hours of WWE Raw. So I'll watch it and tell you what happened. Then only one of us has to suffer.
WWE Raw Recap
Costco-brand Eminem raps us into WWE Monday Night Raw. The Thunderdome is decorated for the holidays, with Christmas Trees and presents everywhere. Raw is hoping to rebound from their lowest ratings every last week. Which means they're gonna give it everything they have, right? Eh…
Promo: Charlotte Flair
After some pleasantries, Charlotte Flair heads to the ring to kick off Monday Night Raw. We see a video of her appearing last night at TLC as Asuka's mystery partner and winning the tag team championships from Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax. Charlotte cuts a generic promo that could have come from one of the WWE video games. "Here I am in the Thunderdome, and what is the Thunderdome without the queen?" Pretty much everything since this is literally the second time you've ever been in it?
Charlotte calls out her tag team partner, Asuka. That leads to Nia and Shayna coming out. Then Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke. One thing leads to another and Charlotte and Asuka take a seat at commentary to watch Rose and Brooke vs. Jax and Baszler to see who will feud with the champs. But not before Raw takes a commercial break.
Match: Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke vs. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler
They have a match while Charlotte and Asuka pretend to be best friends on commentary. The match is basically background noise for a Charlotte Flair interview. On the plus side, nobody in the match died or suffered a career-ending injury. Brooke taps out to the Kirafuda Clutch.
Winners: Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler
Jax and Baszler talk trash to Charlotte and Asuka after the match, only to get jumped by Mandy and Dana. Well, there you have it. Charlotte Flair opened up Raw after her big return. Will the ratings go up? They're almost guaranteed to since it was an all-time low last week, so Charlotte can take credit. That's some Triple H level fuckery right there.
Promo: Hurt Business
Hurt Business bully a nerd wearing a New Day shirt backstage. They rip off his shirt and put on a Hurt Business one instead. Raw takes a commercial break. Then Hurt Business heads to the ring for a VIP Lounge. They brag about all their championships and then pose for a picture with a professional photographer. R-Truth pops up and tries to photobomb, but then all the jobbers come out to chase him.
The Hardy Broz come out. "Riddle" congratulates Hurt Business on their wins but criticizes the way they waste money celebrating when they can just get stoned at home and listen to Joe Rogan's podcast. He says they should stop being bullies because they're all the same inside. MVP interrupts this and wants to know why they're here. Jeff Hardy says there are more important things than money and they have it: their faith. What the hell was this segment?
Match: Angel Garza vs. Drew Gulak
Sarah Shrieber tries to interview Angel Garza only for him to pull his Pepe Le Pew act on her. He suggests she interview him under the mistletoe after his match. She would have a really good case if she sued for sexual harassment. Garza heads to the ring. Drew GUlak is already tehre. They have a match. Garza wins it with the Wing Clipper in just a few minutes.
Winner: Angel Garza
Promo: Miz TV
Charly Caruso asks AJ Styles how he feels abotu last night. Styles says The Miz screwed him out of the championship. Chraly asks why Styles agreed to be on Miz TV then. He says he wants to hear what Miz has to say, which doesn't really make any sense, but the purpose of this segment was just to lead into the commercial break.
Raw comes back with Miz and Morrison in the ring. Miz talks about failing to win the WWE Championship. He apologizes to his family. But there's another apology that needs to happen tonight. Miz calls out AJ Styles. Styles comes out with Olmos. Miz tries to explain himself to Styles. Styles isn't in the mood for his crap (who is, AJ?). Miz apologizes and offers Styles a small part in The Marine franchise. Everyone starts yelling at each other and it emerges that John Morrison, not Miz, cashed in the briefcase so maybe there's an angle for Miz to get it back.
Drew McIntyre comes out to put a stop to this nonsense. He talks about getting wasted with his boys after wining last night and coming up with a parody of The Night Before Christmas called The Night After TLC. Keith Lee and Sheamus come out to read the poem, surround the ring, and attack the heels. But Lee and Sheamus have a miscommunication and the segment kind of just sputters out. Retribution comes out so T-Bar can fight Ricochet… after Raw takes a commercial break.
Match: T-Bar vs. Ricochet
Backstage, Sheamus and Keith Lee are still fighting with each other. McIntyre gets in the middle of it and tries to get everyone on the same page. The camera zooms in and out repeatedly during the entire conversation. Has the cameraman been hitting the eggnog?
Back to the ring, where Retribution are sitting quietly, waiting for Ricochet to come out and do his flips, like well-behaved little anarchists. Ricochet and T-Bar have a match. The goal of this match is to convince Ricochet to join Retribution. I don't think it's going well. T-Bar wins with Go to Sleep
T-Bar yells at Ricochet after the match. Ricochet should be one of them. He can join them or end his existence.
Bobby Lashley and MVP vs. The Hardy Broz
In an interview from earlier today, Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston talk about how they'll bounce back after their tag title loss last night. Hurt Business comes to the ring. Jeff Hardy and "Riddle" head to the ring. They have a match. Hardy takes a few bumps a man his age shouldn't be taking. Hardy kayfabe injures his arm falling off the top rope to the floor, allowing Lashley and MVP to work that arm over until Hardy can get the hot tag to Riddle. But Hardy ends up tapping out to the Hurt Lock.
Winners: Hurt Business
Miz and Morrison are seen arguing with AJ Styles and Olmos as WWE Raw takes a commercial break.
Match: Gran Metalik vs. Jaxson Ryker
Elias is in the ring with Jaxson Ryker. He talks about his music and how it made Ryker reborn and now Ryker no longer thinks Black Lives Matter is garbage. Lucha House Party interrupt. Gran Metalik and Ryker have a match. The highlight is Elias sitting on the turnbuckles and performing a song during the match. Ryker wins by pinfall.
Winner: Jaxson Ryker
We see a recap of the Firefly Inferno match from TLC and Raw takes a commercial break.
Promo: Randy Orton
Randy Orton comes to the ring and cuts a promo about how much he loved murdering The Fiend by dousing his body in gasoline and setting it on fire. He says even the voices in his head have gone away and now all he can hear is The Fiend gasping for his last breath before he died. Orton says The Fiend is gone.
The Fiend seems to disagree because the lights go out. When they come back, Alexa Bliss is riding a swing on a swingset in the middle of the ring. She says The Fiend built it for her. She invites Randy Orton to come play in Alexa's playground. She makes a few jokes about The Fiend being burned to death. Then she suggests that The Fiend will return and be more powerful than ever. The lights go out again. End scene.
Alrighty then. Tom Phillips puts on the "Owen just fell" voice and says they have to move on with the show despite these shocking events. Charlotte Flair heads to the ring as Raw takes a commercial break.
Match: Charlotte Flair and Asuka vs. Lacey Evans and Peyton Royce
Asuka and Charlotte are in the ring. Peyton Royce and Lacey Evans cut a promo backstage. Lacey calls Peyton "Pey-Pey." Why did they break up the Iiconincs again? Royce and Evans come to the ring and they have a match. Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax watch the match from backstage. Peyton taps out to the Figure Eight in what was basically the Charlotte Flair show.
Winners: Charlotte Flair and Asuka
So just to be sure I ahve this straight, they broke up the Iiconics because Vince McMAhon thought PEyton Royce could be a singles star. Then that didn't work so they have her dye her hair purple, team up with Lacey Evans, and tap out to Charlotte Flair to advance *checks notes* Charlotte Flair's tag team career. What was the point of any of this?
Match: Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, and Keith Lee vs. Miz, Morrison, and AJ Styles in a Holiday Street Fight
Raw takes a commercial break. Then we see a video package about some community outreach Titus O'Neil did. AJ Styles interrupts Miz backstage as Miz is trying to get his lawyer to get his Money in the Bank contract back. The faces come out first, then the heels. They have a match. Lots of people get tossed into Christmas trees and presents. There's tension between Keith Lee and Sheamus, but it's the heels who fall apart with Olmos puting John Morrison through a table and Lee pinning Miz with a spirit bomb.
Winners: Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, and Keith Lee
Don't worry though. Sheamus Brogue Kicks Keith Lee right after the match. Drew McIntyre yells at him as Raw goes off the air.
I'm not sure what WWE Raw has to do to reverse its ratings slump, but this doesn't feel like it. This very much felt like a lame duck sort of show, like WWE is planning on coasting until the Royal Rumble. They've got another holiday show next week, and then a Legends Night show for the first Raw of 2021, and then it'll be time for the Rumble angles to start up. So I guess the thought is why bother until then, right? I wonder if Raw can break it's low record again before the end of 2020.