WWE Champion Drew McIntyre and Goldberg Attacked The Miz and John Morrison
I'm glad McIntyre is back after previously testing positive for COVID-19 and he cut a good promo as always, but the rest of this segment did nothing for me. Miz continues to tease cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase at Royal Rumble, which obviously means he won't. He and Morrison were only out here to take a beating from the babyfaces and it made for a cool visual, but I wish we heard more from Goldberg. I know he isn't known for his mic skills, but it would have been nice to build up some bad blood between them before the pay-per-view. As of now, there's no real reason for them to be facing off other than Goldberg thinking McIntyre was being disrespectful a few weeks ago. There was never any follow-up on that, by the way.
WWE Women's Tag Team Champion Charlotte Flair def. Shayna Baszler by Disqualification; Baszler, Nia Jax and Lacey Evans def. Flair, Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke
It's sad that Flair vs. Baszler could have been a SummerSlam main event a year ago but it's since been reduced to a throwaway match on Raw. It literally lasted a minute. What a waste. The subsequent six-woman tag team match was entirely forgettable and I'm sure Baszler getting counted out before the commercial break was a botch. There was no need to restart it because what we got after the commercial break wasn't overly exciting. I couldn't care less about any of these feuds right now.
Xavier Woods def. Slapjack
Woods has one over on Ricochet in that he was able to beat Slapjack when Ricochet couldn't. In all seriousness, the match was whatever. Both guys are talented, but it's incredibly difficult to care about anything involving RETRIBUTION, especially when they're around ringside. Despite Woods' win, RETRIBUTION beat him up afterward and Ali called out Kofi Kingston. As little as RETRIBUTION does for me, Ali vs. Kingston is a natural match for the reasons Ali mentioned and I'm glad they acknowledged.
24/7 Champion R-Truth and Riddle Interrupted The Hurt Business on The VIP Lounge
Bobby Lashley, Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander talked all about holding gold that I thought they were teasing helping MVP win the 24/7 title from Truth. Truth did come out but was chased off by Raw's undercard competitors before. The bigger purpose of this segment was to hype up the Gauntlet match for later in the night with Riddle getting one over on MVP. Truth was his usual entertaining self here.
Sheamus def. John Morrison; Morrison and The Miz def. Sheamus in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match
If you watched Sheamus vs. Morrison from Monday night back-to-back with one of their matches from 2010, I don't think you would see much of a difference. Both guys look almost exactly identical and they're still as good as they were then if not better. They had a very well-wrestled match here and the win provided Sheamus with a nice momentum boost heading into the Royal Rumble. Unfortunately, anything he gained from that was quickly squandered when he immediately lost to Miz and Morrison in a Handicap match. In other words, nobody gained anything, so I don't know what the purpose of these matches was other than to kill television time.
AJ Styles def. 24/7 Champion R-Truth (Non-Title)
This was the third straight week where Adam Pearce informed Styles' opponent that if they beat Styles, they would possibly qualify for the men's Rumble. I honestly thought Truth would pull out the upset because I didn't know why else Styles would be doing this week after week, but apparently not (and I was completely okay with that). If nothing else, it's nice that WWE gave Styles' matches some stakes ahead of the pay-per-view. This was decent but nothing worth writing home about. I'm curious what WWE has planned for Styles at WrestleMania 37 considering how he's been winning a lot lately.
Riddle def. Raw Tag Team Champion Shelton Benjamin, MVP and Raw Tag Team Champion Cedric Alexander in a Gauntlet Match to Earn a Future United States Championship Match
Having Riddle run through three members of Hurt Business to get to Lashley was a really good idea. MVP, Alexander and Benjamin haven't been positioned as big singles stars in a while, so it was fine for Riddle to beat them in three consecutive matches. I hate that WWE is teasing tension with Benjamin and Alexander, but hopefully it ends with them remaining partners because it's way too soon for either of them to be booted from the group. That story factored into Riddle vs. Benjamin and then Riddle vs. MVP. Riddle vs. Benjamin was easily the best of the bunch and gave Riddle a big win. The problem is that Lashley previously squashed Riddle in the span of two minutes, so I'm not sure why fans should want to see Riddle challenge Lashley for the United States Championship again. It could be a hell of a match if WWE allows them to do what they're capable of, but that remains to be seen.
Raw Women's Champion and WWE Women's Tag Team Champion Asuka vs. Alexa Bliss Ended in a No Contest
If you hate the stuff with Bliss, Randy Orton and The Fiend, you probably hated this match. It was a lot like last week in that it was less in-ring work and more character work. Asuka comes off as too goofy to me, especially since she should be a silent badass like she used to be, but I can't stress enough how excellent of a job Bliss is doing in her role. I was hooked for most of this match and Orton's RKO to Bliss made for a great ending. Why is Orton the only one who can get physical with the women? I'm not saying WWE should be doing more intergender stuff, but it's weird how only Orton can lay his hands on the women and no one else can. Nonetheless, I guess this means we're not getting Orton vs. The Fiend at the Rumble after all. Maybe it will be saved for either Elimination Chamber or Fastlane?
It's amazing how much of a train wreck Raw proves to be every single week. The best part about this show was that pre-taped promo from Edge where he announced his participation in Sunday's men's Rumble match. It was randomly advertised at one point in the evening but not far enough in advance to where people would have tuned in to hear what he had to say. Where was that promo a week or two ago? That felt like a last-minute decision, even though I'm pumped for it. The rest of this show was all over the place per usual. The first 30 minutes or so were a mess and almost all of the matches existed so the three hours could be filled. The Gauntlet match was well done and I was interested in the main event and its ending, but otherwise, don't bother wasting your time with Raw this week (again). We can only hope things will begin to heat up again on the road to WrestleMania starting next week, though it's worth noting that hasn't been a guarantee in years.