Hitting someone with a chair and slamming them through a table is, objectively, not going to get you on Santa’s good side. But let’s say Kevin Owens’ No Disqualification victory over Mojo Rawley splits the difference for St. Nick. After all, Rawley preceded the match by insulting Owens’ family and his weight, and Owens followed up the win by attempting to fight the good fight against Seth Rollins & AOP.
Rawley fought an impressive fight, as his desire for retribution after being brutalized with a steel pipe supercharged the already energetic Superstar to a new gear. Owens answered in kind, with a Stunner and Pop-up Powerbomb through a table that put Mojo down.
Still in a fighting mood, Owens took to the middle of the ring and demanded that Rollins & AOP present themselves. Even if their plan was to beat him up, KO wasn’t going to leave until or unless they could do it in the ring. And given that Rollins, Akam & Rezar were soon shown walking to the ring, it looked like Owens was about to get his Christmas wish.
Like a gorgeously-wrapped pair of socks under the Christmas tree, Kevin Owens’ requested confrontation with Seth Rollins & AOP was a bitter disappointment dressed up as something wonderful.
Like he asked, KO got Rollins in the ring, and he even received a peace offering, as The Architect openly implied that he and Owens were even and no further hostilities were needed. But the night took a turn for the worst once Owens delivered the superkick he had been plainly itching to throw. Akam & Rezar rushed the ring, prevented Owens from getting to a steel chair and held him in place for a pair of Stomps from a rabid Rollins.
It was, as Samoa Joe said, a beating by a group of “thugs” who are not being taken seriously enough. And coming from one of the baddest men in WWE, that’s something that should be giving everyone much more pause than it is.
Bobby Lashley and Lana seem destined to win and win and win, right up until the minute they get to the altar. Not only did The All Mighty defeat Rusev in a Tables Match at WWE TLC to set up a sordid wedding with Lana, but the two-time Intercontinental Champion and his two-timing wife-to-be teamed up to thwart a surging Cedric Alexander in the week before their wedding.
Right as Alexander was starting to roll, Lana got into the ring and launched into a diatribe that could best be described as unhinged. In the hopes of stopping Alexander from bruising Lashley, she unsuccessfully petitioned for the contest to be reconfigured into a Greco-Roman wrestling match, but the rant gave Lashley the chance to recover.
Alexander simply refused to stay down, fighting to thwart a Spear with a basement dropkick. Cedric’s attempt to go high missed its mark, though, as Lashley dodged the springboard, caught Alexander in a pop-up chokeslam and pivoted with a Spear to earn the win and send himself down the altar on a high note. Slightly bruised, perhaps, but no worse for wear.
With a successful toy drive under his belt, Zack Ryder is as close to Santa Claus as the WWE Universe is likely to get. Drew McIntyre, then, is his Grinch.
The former NXT Champion absolutely brutalized The Ultimate Broski on Raw, slapping Ryder across the face and driving him spine-first into the apron and the barricade. Ryder fought back with an attempt at a dropkick, but McIntyre reversed into a powerbomb and let fly with a Christmas Claymore to win the match. In the wake of his victory, McIntyre blasted Curt Hawkins with a Claymore of his own, took hold of the mic and declared that 2020 would belong to him. And to all a good night.
If it wasn’t clear last week, Becky Lynch left no doubt: She wants Asuka. And she’s willing to go and do whatever it takes to collect her last remaining debt against The Empress of Tomorrow — the only woman, she said, to defeat The Man straight-up.
Asuka came to the ramp to mock The Man for her loss in Japanese, though her final English words — “Asuka Two Belts” — made it clear she would give Lynch her match for a price. Becky’s response was to name the time and place, and in case Asuka didn’t understand, she repeated it in Japanese. The challenge has been made. The challenge has been accepted. And while it’s looking like a matter of when the match happens, the matter of The Man settling her last debt is still very much an if.
It’s the match so nice, it might steal the show twice. Aleister Black is set to battle Buddy Murphy once again on next week’s Raw, and both Superstars got a tune-up of sorts against a pair of locals.
First, The Dutch Destroyer dropped Deonn Rusman like a rock with Black Mass just seconds into the match, then Murphy emerged as Black went up the ramp, marched to the ring and leveled Joeasa with a jumping knee and Murphy’s Law. Black, at least mildly impressed by his opponent’s skill, went to the ring and offered a surprising handshake. Murphy declined and was struck down with yet another Black Mass. So, who you got?
Tony Nese is built like a boulder with legs, but you will believe a muscleman can fly watching The Premiere Athlete go move-for-move with Ricochet in a match that was as furious as it was fast and very nearly ended in an upset victory for the Long Island native.
Picking on Ricochet was a smart move for Nese since the former United States Champion has been mired in a bit of a slump and was visibly off his game in the early goings. But he turned it around in a flash, catching Nese with the Recoil and reversing his fortunes in a matter of seconds. The look on his face said it all: Now that’s more like it.
There wasn’t a tag team partner in sight when Charlotte Flair made her return to singles competition while draped in a regal, snow-white robe and mangled the limbs of NXT transplant Chelsea Green, looking to show what she could do in a surprise appearance against the 10-time champion.
Green fared about as well as fellow NXT Superstar Deonna Purrazzo did against Asuka last week, which is to say she landed a few hits but was outmatched. After an impressive ground-and-pound game from Chelsea, Flair roared back with a barrage of chops, a big boot and finally, the Figure-Eight to end the match. There’s no doubt The Queen appreciated the competition, but as with any monarch, there are limits to her generosity.
Those mother-lovers did it again.
The O.C. got even with Randy Orton and widened the gap with The Viking Raiders even further in one fell swoop, handing The Viper and the Vikings a demoralizing loss in a Six-Man Tag Team Match. If there was one key factor, it was the cohesion of the good brothers against the common-cause convenience of Orton, Erik & Ivar.
That unity was never more apparent than in the final moments of the match, when The O.C. overwhelmed The Viking Raiders and forced them to tag in Orton, who had been competing on a tweaked knee all night. When The Viper began to roll against AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson sacrificed themselves, willingly taking RKOs so The Phenomenal One could rally and finally execute the Phenomenal Forearm that secured the team the victory.
And sure, you could call this a fluke or a lucky turn of events. You might not be wrong. But after a few weeks of this, it’s looking more and more likely that Orton and The Viking Raiders will head into the holiday and face a simple truth: Like all the single mothers across this great land of ours, The O.C. has their number.
What do you get the man who has everything — or at least a weird, covered-up cage that nobody has ever seen the inside of? If you’re local competitor/human sacrifice Travis Horn, you get Erick Rowan a candy cane. Not the worst idea since Rowan was momentarily cowed by the peace offering, but when Horn tried to give more candy to the cage, the big man snapped and beat him with two Iron Claws in quick succession. Oddly enough, he didn’t seem to disagree with the local’s idea in principle, slipping a candy cane to whatever is in the pen as he made his exit. In practice, however, the message was once again reinforced. Whatever’s in there, it’s for Rowan’s eyes only.
How is Rusev liking the bachelor life? Turns out, he’s a natural.
In the wake of his divorce from Lana, The Bulgarian Brute was living it up, flirting with sign-waving admirers at ringside and merrily beating up No Way Jose despite the latter’s attempt to get him to dance. Even the Machka Kick that put Jose down for three was just a momentary burst of aggression in an otherwise happy (Rusev) day. The Super Athlete picked Jose up off the ground after the match, did a Spinaroonie, danced with the conga line and boogied back up the ramp. If this is how happy he is today, imagine how he’ll feel next week after Lana is out of his hair for good.
The 24/7 Championship's first holiday was certainly an eventful one. The title changed hands three times during Raw, first with Akira Tozawa pinning R-Truth to win the championship in the middle of Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. Unfortunately for Tozawa, he was defeated for the title by Santa Claus himself, who drove out of sight before The Stamina Monster could catch him. But Truth was hot on his tail, chasing Kris Kringle across Manhattan to finally win back the championship in Lincoln Center at the end of the night.
Seth Rollins said last week that he was challenging Rey Mysterio for the United States Championship as part of his bid for “dominance.” But you don’t need to be champion to be dominant. All you need is to set an example — a lesson that was harshly learned by Mysterio and, surprisingly, Samoa Joe.
The first domino to fall was Mysterio, who was ambushed by AOP right as he seemed likely to defeat Rollins to retain his title, leading to a disqualification victory. Rollins, Akam & Rezar dragged Mysterio up the ramp for a trip through the commentary table, but Joe stayed put, issuing a warning that if he did get up from his chair, it wouldn’t be to move.
The Architect, seemingly intent on focusing his group’s intentions on Mysterio alone, attempted to cool things down with Joe, seemingly agreeing to leave him be. But when he turned, he issued a single command to AOP — “finish it” — that prompted an all-out attack on The Samoan Submission Machine, who was driven through the announce table while Mysterio was dropped with a Stomp. And that’s how Seth Rollins ended Raw. He wasn’t the United States Champion, but there wasn’t a soul in the building who could question his dominance.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Kevin Owens defeated Mojo Rawley in a No Disqualification Match
- Akira Tozawa defeated R-Truth (c) to win the WWE 24-7 Championship
- Bobby Lashley (w/ Lana) defeated Cedric Alexander
- Drew McIntyre defeated Zack Ryder (w/ Curt Hawkins)
- Aleister Black defeated Deonn Rusman
- Buddy Murphy defeated Joeasa
- Ricochet defeated Tony Nese
- Charlotte Flair defeated Chelsea Green
- Santa Claus defeated Akira Tozawa (c) to win the WWE 24-7 Championship
- The O.C. (AJ Styles, Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows) defeated Randy Orton & The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) in a Six Man Tag Team Match
- Erick Rowan defeated Travis Horn
- R-Truth defeated Santa Claus (c) to win the WWE 24-7 Championship
- Rusev defeated No Way Jose
- Rey Mysterio (c) defeated Seth Rollins by DQ to retain the WWE United States Championship
Other on-screen talent