Raw Women's Champion Asuka and Charlotte Flair Addressed Their WWE Women's Tag Team Championship Victory at TLC; Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler def. Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose
I guess the story is that Flair did Asuka a favor by teaming with her at TLC and now she wants a shot at the Raw Women's Championship shot in return. She didn't a chance to say that, however, as Jax and Baszler interrupted her before she could. The dialogue that followed from that point forward was absolutely atrocious. The subsequent tag team match thankfully wasn't as bad but still not that good. Jax and Baszler winning made sense as they look to get the tag titles back, though Brooke and Rose standing tall afterward makes it seem like they're building to a Triple Threat between the three teams.
Riddle and Jeff Hardy Interrupted The Hurt Business on The VIP Lounge
You had to know Hurt Business would be on this show celebrating their big Raw Tag Team Championship victory from TLC. Everyone in the group now has a title except for MVP. I was hopingly hoping that R-Truth popping up in the middle of the segment was going to lead to MVP beating him for the belt, but no such luck. The rest of this segment was fine as it set up Riddle and Hardy vs. MVP and Bobby Lashley for later in the night.
Angel Garza def. Drew Gulak
Garza has largely been off Raw since the Draft in October, but he has popped up in the occasional vignette teasing a love interest. There was no talk about that here, but at least he's finally back in the ring and won in decisive fashion. This could have been a blast with more time, but alas, it was solely designed to be a quick showcase for Garza. Gulak's career has been in the toilet since being drafted to Monday nights.
WWE Champion Drew McIntyre, Sheamus and Keith Lee Brawled with AJ Styles, The Miz and John Morrison on Miz TV
I feel like I've seen enough installments of Miz TV to last a lifetime. It's just the same thing week after week at this point, and that's coming from a fan of Miz and Morrison. The biggest takeaway from this segment was that Miz claimed that Morrison cashed in the Money in the Bank briefcase at TLC and not him. There was no follow-up on that, but I really hope that doesn't mean Miz is still Mr. Money in the Bank. He and Morrison have been booked like losers all year and are no threats to the top title. This was a decent precursor to the six-man Street Fight in the main event, but it was executed very similar to The VIP Lounge and therefore felt like a repeat and wasn't necessary.
T-Bar def. Ricochet
WWE obviously realizes the ratings for Raw are the worst they've ever been, so why is RETRIBUTION still a thing? They aren't a draw in any way and their rivalry with Ricochet is headed nowhere fast. Apparently the idea is that the more Ricochet loses to them, the more he'll be convinced that he should join them. In reality, it just sends the message that Ricochet can't win the big one (or even the small ones). He'd be better off relegated to Main Event at this point or leaving the company all together. Needless to say, the match was nothing special whatsoever.
The Hurt Business (United States Champion Bobby Lashley and MVP) def. Jeff Hardy and Riddle
This was a logical next step in the rivalry between Hurt Business and the duo of Riddle and Hardy and it was fun while it lasted. Riddle and Hardy are growing on me as a team and it would only help the tag division if that's where they end up. That said, it looks like Riddle will be next in line for a United States Championship opportunity, so I don't know what the endgame is at this point. I'm all for the heels being made to look strong, but Hardy losing to Lashley three straight weeks in a row is a bit questionable.
Jaxson Ryker def. Gran Metalik
I believe this marked Ryker's first singles match since his NXT days. He isn't an exceptionally skilled competitor by any means, but he's believable when booked dominantly like he was here in making short work of Metalik. It was what it needed to be, though Ryker probably shouldn't have needed a distraction from Elias to beat Metalik. We'll see how far this act goes and if it will remain exclusive to the undercard.
Alexa Bliss Confronted Randy Orton
The finish to the Firefly Inferno match at TLC generated a pretty polarizing reaction online, but I personally thought it was cool and it left me wondering what was next. Thankfully, Bray Wyatt didn't return here, but we did get the return of Bliss here and it was well done. The playground made for an awesome visual and I enjoyed Bliss' brief promo. This storyline isn't for everyone, but I'd argue it's one of the best things going on Raw right now.
WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Charlotte Flair and Raw Women's Champion Asuka def. Peyton Royce and Lacey Evans (Non-Title)
I'm no fan of Asuka and Flair winning the tag titles as a makeshift team, but not for nothing, they have great chemistry as partners. Meanwhile, it was nice seeing Evans and Royce resurface on Raw for the first time in a month or so. The outcome was never in doubt, but at least Evans and Royce were able to score some offense before eating defeat. By the way, it was announced that Flair and Asuka will defend the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship for the first time this Friday on SmackDown.
WWE Champion Drew McIntyre, Keith Lee and Sheamus def. The Miz, John Morrison and AJ Styles in a Holiday Street Fight
Street Fights are typically all over the place in the best way possible, but this was the exact opposite. I've seen Miracle on 34th Street Fights on Raw that were wilder than this. It was basically a standard six-man tag team match that didn't get "extreme" until the final few minutes with a few people going through tables. In other words, this was a lame main event that failed to live up to the hype. This only existed to tease tension between Lee and Sheamus and seemingly set up a match between them for an upcoming episode.
Man, the mic work on this episode was awful. The stuff with Bliss and Orton was well done, but a lot of the promos early on in the show were subpar, to say the least. This wasn't your typical holiday show, and although I appreciated that, this was still a fairly flat edition of Raw coming up such a strong pay-per-view. Flair being back in the mix helps out the women's tag team scene, but I can't say I'm that much more invested than I was previously. The WWE Championship picture, Orton vs. Wyatt, and anything with Hurt Business are holding my interest currently, but the rest of Raw is just a mess. The three hours are an absolute chore to get through and I fear that the next month and a half until Royal Rumble will largely consist of filler. And no, promoting a Legends-themed edition of Raw for the first week of 2021 will not lead to the record-low ratings bouncing back for more than one night. It's merely putting a band-aid on a gun shot wound, and I doubt even that's enough to help the show at this point.