This week’s RAW (in Milwaukee) opens with Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley (“LASH-LEY! LASH-LEY”) & Lio Rush, and Drew McIntyre letting us all know what they’re thankful for, even though Thanksgiving has come and gone. Corbin basically calls the entire WWE Universe fat and unhealthy post-Thanksgiving, before he lets them know he’s thankful for the job he’s been doing as Acting General Manager of RAW; Lashley’s thankful for all the “beta males” who sit on their couch while he takes what he wants (the point A to point B of that all doesn’t quite track); and Drew’s thankful for the beating they gave Braun Strowman last week.
Speaking of Strowman, we get a chance to see a pre-recorded video from in, as he was being prepped for surgery in Birmingham, Alabama. “GET THESE HANDS” promises intensify, basically.
The important part is that Strowman won’t be able to compete at TLC, but since the match is still on, it looks like Corbin will win by forfeit. With that, Corbin makes clear it’s time for the RAW Superstars to decide if they’ll be on the right side of history or wrong side of history. It’s all time for them to start calling him “General Manager-Elect” Baron Corbin. And General Manager-Elect Corbin is interrupted by:
Tired of listening to Corbin’s “annoying voice,” Elias decides to play a riff before explaining to all the men in the ring (calling Bobby Lashley “Bobby Trashley”) that WWE stands for “Walk With Elias.” Elias can’t think of anything worse than Corbin as GM, as even Lio Rush (a child) would be better.
Then Elias sings a little ditty called “Bobby Lashley Sucks,” which the Milwaukee crowd seems to know the lyrics to immediately.
Bobby Lashley def. Elias
For Elias vs. Lashley (and the crowd is still chanting “LASHLEY SUCKS”), Rush, McIntrye, and Corbin stay on the outside for “moral support.” But Elias is not intimated by “The Almighty” Lashley, for better or worse, and he keeps fighting, even when Lashley’s power game comes into play. Elias is eventually about to win with the top rope elbow, but Rush pulls the referee out of the ring when he’s about to get a three-count.
The ref then DQs Lashley, but Corbin uses his old standby move and turns it into a No DQ match, with Lashley getting the drop on Elias before the match can get started again. Then the guys on the outside attack Elias. He deflects at first, taking advantage of the lack of rules himself; but before he can use his guitar, Corbin hits him from behind, and then it’s just a beatdown (and guitar destruction), with Corbin bringing out the steel chair. Then it’s just a three-on-one attack on Elias (claiming they’re doing it “for Braun Strowman,” with Lashley pulling a Strowman and running around the ring before destroying Elias with a spear). Then Lashley officially ends the match with a cocky pin.
“This trio is made for destruction.” – Michael Cole
To make matters worse, General Manager-Elect Baron Corbin has apparently also booked himself in a match against Finn Balor tonight. Wonder if it’ll go any differently than the other matches he’s booked himself against Finn Balor in the past…
Post-match. Corbin fires a stagehand and promotes Alexa Bliss to a player-coach position, overseeing the entire RAW women’s division. Surely that power won’t get to her head as well…
Earlier today, Dean Ambrose recorded a video from his Corbin’sphysician. (This is a special night for WWE Superstars and medical rooms, y’all.) He promises he’ll be at RAW next week, but first, he’s getting his shots. Wouldn’t want to catch anything from the Milwaukee crowd (and next week’s Houston crowd), after all. But Ambrose also says there’s no medicine for Seth Rollins, nothing to “cure the sickness that is in [his] soul.” At TLC, Ambrose promises to be the good guy and put Rollins out of his misery—“for good.”
Anyway, after that, Renee Young still has nothing to add for her announce team colleagues, simply calling her husband a “complicated guy.” That’s one way to explain it. She’s clearly very frustrated by these constant questions though, and I’ll bet anything she knows more than she’s letting on.
Lucha House Party (Kalisto, Lince Dorado, & Gran Metalik) def. The Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson), in a Lucha House Rules match
The Revival come out saying they “were so appalled” last week when it came to Lucha House Rules, they couldn’t focus—that’s why they lost. They talk about the etiquette when it comes to tag team wrestling (like “a polite golf clap”) and respecting the rules and tradition. That’s why they asked for a rematch. Yet, after all that, JoJo announces this is a Lucha House Rules match too. According to Corey Graves, Baron Corbin actually had nothing to do with this decision, so are we to blame Stephanie McMahon then?
Lucha House Rules apparently aren’t just handicap rules—they’re also lucha rules, meaning no tags necessary. So despite The Revival getting in some good offense at times, they’re done for here as well. Corey Graves feels like he’s taking crazy pills watching this match, and honestly, how can you blame him? This is why RAW lost the tag team elimination match at Survivor Series (making things 6-1)—this is how the red brand treats tag team wrestling.
With three weeks to go until Ronda Rousey defends her RAW Women’s Championship against Nia Jax at TLC, this week, the champion and challenger meet face-to-face (though there’s a little outside interference) in the ring. You can read more about it here.
Drake Maverick cuts a backstage promo about “real fear,” excusing his bladder control issue and promising that Bobby Roode and Chad Gable will feel the same fear. As the AOP say: “Laugh now.” “Cry later.”
As for Roode and Gable’s thoughts on the match, according to them, joke-time is over. This is what they teamed up for in the first place.
AOP (Akam & Rezar) (c) def. Bobby Roode & Chad Gable, for the RAW Tag Team Championship
For early manipulation, Drake Maverick grabs Roode’s $10,000 robe and holds onto it on the outside. Roode and Gable focus on the match, but Roode finally notices when Maverick puts the robe on, walks up the ramp, and mocks Roode (before he runs to the back with the robe),
During the match, WWE even shows footage of Maverick goofing off with the robe in the restroom. Eventually, when Roode and Gable gain momentum against the AOP, the entire arena can see this too, as Maverick tosses the robe into the toilet and then pees on it. What. Is. Happening?
Backstage, Alexa Bliss approaches Sasha Banks and Bayley, telling them they’ll be having an “open forum” tonight with the WWE Universe. Bayley brings up the memory of “This Is Your Life,” but even Alexa Bliss knows we should never speak of that again.
Ember Moon def. Alicia Fox
Oh no. Poor Ember Moon. With Braun Strowman out of commission, Baron Corbin gave Ember Moon a new Mixed Match Challenge partner: Curt Hawkins. And that comes with his 236-and-counting day losing streak. This poor, poor woman. Hawkins shows up to root Ember on from the sidelines, and you can only assume his losing streak is already rubbing off on her. But somehow, Ember Moon wins with the Eclipse.
Hawkins definitely surprises her by celebrating as though he won. And then out comes No Way
Jinder Mahal def. No Way Jose
Jinder Mahal dominates during this match… and yep, that’s about it.
Seth Rollins (c) def. Dolph Ziggler, in an Open Challenge for the Intercontinental Championship
Will Seth Rollins be able to focus tonight? He was certainly able to at Survivor Series when he defeated Shinsuke Nakamura in their Champion vs. Champion match. He also sounds focused, as he welcomes Milwaukee to Monday Night Rollins and says he’s done looking for Ambrose. (Because while Ambrose said he’s not here tonight, Rollins doesn’t actually believe that… nor does he care.) It is time for the open challenge. And the Milwaukee crowd is ready for it, as they chant “BURN IT DOWN!” while they wait to see who answers.
Unfortunately, it’s no one new and exciting: It’s Dolph Ziggler. (Here’s the thing: Everyone knows these two are going to bust out something magical (and they do), but it’s still pretty disappointing no one new or surprising stepped up for the challenge.) Ziggler says that since Ambrose stabbed Rollins in the back, Rollins hasn’t been the same. And he wants to face “Seth freaking Rollins,” so it means something when he loses to “The Best in the World” Ziggler again.
Commentary talks about Rollins possibly being a “fractured Architect,” perhaps not physically, but mentally and emotionally. Meanwhile, Ziggler is very clearly all by himself for this match, with no McIntrye in sight. This really is the test Rollins was looking for to refocus though, back and forth as usual, with Ziggler having to figure something out once Rollins kicks out of the Zig Zag. He
This goes about as well as anyone expects—from the actual segment to the crowd reaction to the eventual attack from Alicia Fox and Mickie James (and Dana Brooke)—only Sasha and Bayley actually come out on top.
Drew McIntyre & Baron Corbin def. Finn Balor
It’s Finn Balor basically fighting the power tonight, and you know how Corbin likes to change the rules when he sees fit. So while this is a more competitive, back and forth match than their usual… once Finn Balor almost hits his finisher, Corbin turns this into a two-on-one handicap match (with his partner being Drew McIntyre). Balor’s smart, and he takes them both out before they can come for him—and the WWE Universe loves it—but McIntyre gets him from behind and you can guess the rest. A Claymore Kick and that’s all she wrote.
“When is this gonna end,” asks Michael Cole. Well, with Lashley and Lio Rush on the way out to add to the beatdown, it looks like it’ll end once there is no