The Miz and John Morrison Hosted Miz TV with The New Day; New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) def. Miz and Morrison
A dumb comedy "commercial" with Hulk Hogan and an unfunny edition of Miz TV was not exactly how I would have kicked off the new year. If anything, it just sent the message that Raw will be no better in 2021 than it was at the end of 2020. The segment sucked and the subsequent match was decent albeit nothing out of the ordinary. Miz continuing to lose despite regaining the Money in the Bank briefcase makes zero sense to me. The lack of credibility he has at the moment is astonishing. If he cashes in successfully, we're doomed.
AJ Styles def. Elias
Styles beat Elias clean last week, so I have no clue why we got a rematch here. Don't get me wrong, both bouts were well-wrestled and I'm glad Elias has been able to look competitive against Styles, but these matches aren't accomplishing anything. Then again, I assume they're designed to keep Styles busy before the Royal Rumble match, which he declared himself for on this show. The best part about this was what happened afterward when Omos kicked the guitar from Jaxson Ryker before it could hit Styles. That was perfectly executed.
Peyton Royce and Lacey Evans def. WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Charlotte Flair and Raw Women's Champion Asuka (Non-Title)
The booking in the women's tag team division has been bizarre lately and I have no idea what WWE is going for. Flair and Asuka beat Royce and Evans with ease two weeks ago, yet they lost to them here because Ric Flair accidentally cost them the match. That led to Charlotte scolding her dad post-match. I'm so confused. Is Ric a regular on TV again? Is Charlotte already a heel despite returning as a face less than a month ago? What was Asuka's reaction to this and why should I care? As I've said before, I have minimal desire to see Flair vs. Asuka again at WrestleMania 37 for the Raw Women's Championship.
Riddle def. United States Champion Bobby Lashley (Non-Title)
Riddle and Lashley have been at odds for a while now, so it looks like WWE is building to a United States Championship clash between them at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. That's extra evident with Riddle beating Lashley here, albeit in fluky fashion. I guess the idea was that him tapping when the referee wasn't looking was supposed to make him look smart, but I don't think it had that effect. It did protect Lashley, so I appreciated that at least. This was a solid match otherwise. Lashley losing the United States title to Riddle at the event before winning the Rumble later in the night would be glorious, but I realize there's very little chance of that actually happening.
Dana Brooke def. Shayna Baszler
Baszler has officially reached a new low. She lost to Brooke by disqualification a few weeks ago before beating her by pinfall shortly thereafter. There was no need for a third match, and not only did we get it here, Brooke won in approximately 30 seconds. If that wasn't bad enough, Brooke and Mandy Rose stood tall to end the segment. Baszler would be better off either back in NXT or really anywhere but Raw because her main roster run has been absolutely abysmal so far.
Randy Orton def. Jeff Hardy
Does Orton have it written into this contract that whenever he and Hardy face off, he must disgustingly twist and tug his earlobes? At the very least, we got that always-awesome-looking Twist of Fate into RKO reversal, so there that made up for it. In all seriousness, this was the usual good match from Orton and Hardy, who never cease to work well together. After all the interactions Orton had with the Legends on this show, you think he would've done something more despicable. I mean, he threatened to burn Alexa Bliss last week for goodness sake! As for Hardy, the guy has lost every match he's had since winning his feud with Elias. I'd love for his losses to be leading to something, but it's more likely WWE is merely using him to put others over at this point.
The Lucha House Party (Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik) def. Raw Tag Team Champions The Hurt Business (Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander) (Non-Title)
Are they going by Lucha House Party again? Because I thought that was done with when they broke away from Kalisto. Nonetheless, Metalik beat Miz last week on Raw last week, Lucha House Party defeated Legado del Fantasma two days later on NXT, they scored a big non-title win over the Raw Tag Team Champions here, and Metalik is challenging for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship at NXT New Year's Evil on Wednesday. I don't think it's a stretch to say this is the biggest push they've received on the main roster thus far. It was a fun little match that I'm sure was designed to build to another matchup with titles on the line, possibly at the Rumble, but what the hell ever happened to number one contender's matches? I realize they're teasing tension between Benjamin and Alexander, but it's way too early for anyone to be leaving the group. I hope it's nothing more than a red herring and their title reign won't be short-lived.
WWE Champion Drew McIntyre def. Keith Lee; Goldberg Returned
I was looking forward to this and they did not disappoint. Their two previous matches on Raw were hurt by interference from Orton, so I'm glad they had the chance to do their thing again and kill it like only they could. McIntyre's title matches are almost always excellent and Lee in particular had a strong showing. I agree with the masses that Lee shouldn't be pinned often, but I was totally fine with the clean finish here considering their last two matches didn't have clean finishes. Then came the return of Goldberg, who immediately created an issue where there wasn't one and challenged McIntyre at the Rumble. Yes, it's incredibly random, but I assume the original plan was for Goldberg to face Roman Reigns before WWE decided to keep the Kevin Owens vs. Reigns rivalry going a little longer. I honestly don't hate the idea of Goldberg vs. McIntyre at the Rumble provided that Goldberg loses. I don't need to see another WrestleMania where a part-timer walks in with a world championship. Those days should be over. Goldberg can be at 'Mania, but it should be elsewhere on the card, not fighting for a top title. Sheamus vs. McIntyre should be the WWE Championship match instead.
I used to love the Legends Night/Raw Reunion/Old School Raw shows years ago, before WWE started doing them more often than they should and now they mean nothing. I'm well aware WWE did this to pop a rating, but the least they could have done was have some of the Legends do something a bit more meaningful than stand backstage and get waved at by the current stars or talk to them for 30 seconds. For example, Hogan could have cut that same promo on McIntyre in the ring, Orton could have attacked someone, someone could have wrestled (depending on who it was), etc. My expectations weren't through the roof anyway, but this was disappointing. The final half hour was great, though, and Goldberg's return was a pleasant surprise. I liked how the matches received more time than usual this week, but multiple champions losing was not ideal as it only makes them look weak. On a side note, it's too bad Carlito couldn't make it for whatever reason because I was excited to see him back. Oh, and Candice Michelle, too.