Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to the first ever AwesomeMania RAW Recap! From time to time we’re going to do recaps of WWE RAW, NXT, and SmackDown, as well as AEW Dynamite to give our thoughts on the latest episodes of pro wrestling. Tonight we kick off with our inaugural recap being the go home RAW before this Sunday’s WWE Royal Rumble.
To kick off RAW we get the opening video and I have to say that I really love “Legendary” by Skillet. Such a really good song, and the video featuring both the band and the superstars is really cool and very remanence to when The Union Underground did the RAW theme song.
After the opening video the “Monday Night Messiah” Seth Rollin comes out to the ring with Buddy Murphy and AOP to address the crowd. Seth thanks the crowd for making his the messiah that he is today, and thanks them for their support. Next he thanks Buddy Murphy for opening his eyes and believing in his faith of the messiah. Then they give us a video package showcasing last week’s main event match that saw Murphy helping Rollins and AOP. Rollins officially introduces Murphy as the newest disciple of Rollins. Rollins claims that Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe can’t stop the future and that everyone in the locker room needs to decide if they are going to join him or be against him, which would bring out Owens and Joe. Owens would tell Rollins that the time for talking is over and that they want to fight which makes Rollins try to politic his way out of a match, but Joe ain’t buying it and calls Rollins an ass hat. Joe claims they aren’t the only ones looking for a fight as the Viking Raiders come out to join Owens and Joe to storm the ring to battle Rollins and his disciples.
- Overall a decent segment. Pretty cool Joe called Rollins an ass hat twice in the segment, but we can tell that they are building up the AOP versus the War Raiders for the RAW Tag Team titles. Also this is going to be a great way to build up Buddy Murphy. If Murphy isn’t a massive singles star after a run in this faction then they did him wrong. Murphy has so much potential and was putting on classics on 205 Live, and briefly on SmackDown.
Still tonight we have the ladder match between United States Champion Andrade against Rey Mysterio, and we get a video package to build up the match which is next after the commercial break.
After the break we see Murphy with Rollins and Charley Caruso comes to interview them, and Rollins says he’s not surprised Owens and Joe would hide behind the War Raiders and challenges the Viking Raiders to a RAW Tag Team Championship match which would see Rollins and Murphy teaming up for the first time.
Ladder Match for the United States Championship
- Andrade (C) w/ Zelina Vega v. Rey Mysterio
Right off the bat Mysterio baited Andrade into getting the ladder and Mysterio would drop kick the ladder into Andrade to get the ladders introduced quickly. However, Andrade would take advantage outside the ring and would try to superplex Mysterio off the top rope but Rey would counter and hurricanrana him off the top rope and neck first onto the ladder. OUCH!!! Totally looked like Andrade flew a little too far on that one.
After the break we see Andrade in charge of the match, but Mysterio would get in a small amount of offense to send Andrade outside the ring, and then would jump off the ring post onto Andrade outside the ring. Mysterio would take it back into the ring and bring the fight to Andrade and send him into a ladder set up in the corner. Rey would then go retrieve another ladder and take Andrade out again with the ladder. Rey finally sets up a ladder and starts to climb it, but Andrade would get a hold of Rey and start doing the Three Amigos, with the final one planting Rey onto the ladder. Andrade would set up another ladder by connecting to the standing ladder and the middle rope. Rey would try to do anther hurricanrana to Andrade, but Andrade would counter and powerbomb Rey onto the propped ladder as we head into the commercial break.
As we return from the break Andrade was looking to do the Razor’s Edge, but Rey would be able to counter and start climbing the ladder. Rey would get his hand on the title but Andrade would strike to stop him. Andrade would then set up Rey for some move but Rey would counter and sunset flip (I think?) Andrade onto the ladder bending it. Rey would then hit Andrade with the 619 sending Andrade flying out of the ring, and Rey is climbing for the title once again, but Andrade pulls the ladder from underneath Rey, but Even though Rey was hanging high up in the air hey would be able to counter Andrade to outside the ring again. Rey would try to climb up the ladder but Zelina would climb to the top of the ladder and prevent Rey from getting to the title. Andrade would take advantage of the distraction and deliver a hammerlock ddt to Rey through another ladder to take out Mysterio. Andrade would climb to the top of the ladder with Zelina cheering him on, and Andrade would get the gold to retain the United States Championship.
Post match Zelina would head outside the ring and pull the matt off of the floor as Andrade would bring Rey to the exposed concrete, but before Andrade could do anything Humberto Carillo would return to chase off Andrade.
- Good match. Had some pretty cool spots, but felt like they went for the high spots a bit too much. They got good tv time, and they could have done some better story telling honestly. Especially since this was the final match of their feud. Good way to bring back Humberto though. Coming in to save Rey post match was good.
After the commercial break they run a video package for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
After the tribute to MLK Jr, Aleister Black comes out as we have some more competition.
- Aleister Black v. Local Talent
And this one wouldn’t last long as Black would hit the Black Mass for the super quick victory. And sorry King, but that was longer than three seconds.
Coming up next after the commercial break WWE Champion Brock Lesnar will appear.
When we come back from the break we see Drew McIntyre getting ready in the back as he will be taking on Randy Orton, and the RAW Tag Team titles are on the line as the Viking Raiders will defend against Seth Rollins and Buddy Murphy.
But now it’s time to bring the Z’s as Brock Lesnar is here with his advocate Paul Heyman. But first a recap to last week with the then 24/7 Champion R-Truth. Heyman does his standard introduction, and claims he’s having crisis of consciousness because he feels everyone is taking it for granted because he’s Brock Lesnar. Hyping Lesnar being #1 in the Rumble match, and the match itself. Thanks for explain how the match works Paul. After much rambling from Heyman, Ricochet would come out to accept Heyman’s challenge as to who would step up. Ricochet would get in the ring with Lesnar and declare he isn’t afraid to fight Lesnar, but Lesnar and Heyman would leave the ring which would cause Ricochet to provoke Lesnar to come back into the ring and kick him the groin.
- Well that was something.
Next we see Caruso with Randy Orton for a quick interview about his match with McIntyre putting him on par to being a favorite for the Royal Rumble match, and Orton doesn’t believe McIntyre is on par to be a Rumble favorite. Orton against McIntyre is next.
- Randy Orton v. Drew McIntyre
Both men would lock up to start the match, and McIntyre would put Orton into the corner and in an interesting move Drew would allow Otron some space to get back to the center of the ring which would then see both men lock up again. Impressive takedowns by both men, but McIntyre would bring the fight to Orton and both men would then take the fight outside the ring as Orton would dominate for the most amount of time but McIntyre would slam Orton into the ring post and then would accidently take out the timekeeper as we head into the break.
We return from the break with McIntyre stalking his prey, but would take too much time as he would jump off the top rope right into a perfect dropkick from Orton. Both men would do a heavy back and forth with haymakers and knife edge chops by McIntyre onto Orton which would see Orton hilariously eye poke McIntyre (the timing, it’s all about that timing). McIntyre picking up steam a few solid suplexes, and he’s calling for the Claymore kick, but Orton counters with the powerslam for the two count. After a powerful superplex by Orton on McIntyre, The OC would charge the ring but both Orton, with a chair, and McIntyre would fight of The OC. McIntyre and Orton would face off in the ring, and Orton would tell McIntyre that he’s one tough son of a bitch, and then hit him with the RKO. As Orton was walking away McIntyre got on the mic and told Orton that he hopes that him and Orton face off in the Rumble and kick his head off with the Claymore to go main event WrestleMania.
- Solid match by these two, but it would have been really cool to see these two get a definitive finish to their match. The run in by The OC wasn’t that great, and was really pointless as it doesn’t do anything for AJ Styles.
Charley is now with Charlotte Flair to talk about the Rumble, and then Becky Lynch shows up, but then leaves, and Charlotte finishes her interview about the Rumble.
Becky Lynch now coming out to the ring for a match against the returning Kairi Sane.
After the break we would see a recap of last week’s contract signing and promo from Becky in the ring about her match with Asuka at the Royal Rumble this Sunday.
- Becky Lynch v. Kairi Sane
To start the match Kairi Sane would taunt Becky, but Becky would respond with a throat punch to send Kairi outside of the ring, but once outside Kairi would take advantage as she would target Becky’s knee as they head into the break.
Back from the break we see them back in the ring, and Kairi is in control with Asuka sitting on top of the ring post. Becky would start to build some momentum, but would let herself be distracted by Asuka to let Kairi take control and get a pinning situation on Becky. Becky would get some offense in the corner, and would attept the Dis-Arm-Her, but Kairi would able to counter. Becky would counter Kairi in the ropes, and once they got back into the ring Becky would sucker punch Asuka off the ring post and then get Kairi in the submission for the victory, but immediately after Asuka would attack Becky and leave her laying.
- Good match, but the mind games being played by Asuka was actually kind of cool and definitely very unique. It created a cool finish to the match, and a post match beating to build up their Rumble match for the RAW Women’s title.
Before the break we find out that the RAW Tag Team Titles are on the line next.
After the break the WWE would do a tribute to the late Rocky Johnson.
Then we would see Kairi and Asuka speaking in Japanese, and be interrupted by an interviewer (no idea who she is) for a quick promo.
RAW Tag Team Championship
- Viking Raiders (C) w/ Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe v. Seth Rollins and Buddy Murphy w/ AOP
Rollins and Erik would start the match but Murphy would tag himself in right after the opening bell. The Viking Raiders would double team Murphy to the outside, and before the commercial break we would see Owens and Joe take AOP off the ring apron and start a brawl.
Back from the break we see Erik being controlled into the corner by Rollins so Murphy to tag in, and while this is happening we learn that AOP, Joe, and Owens have been barred from ringside after the brawl we saw before the break. We see Rollins get the tag and hit a frog splash on Erik for the two count. Murphy tags in and trash talks Erik only for Erik to take it to Murphy and get the tag to get Ivar in the ring to steamroll through both Rollins and Murphy. The Viking Raiders would go for the Viking Experience, but Rollins would make the save, but the Raiders would hit the Viking Experience on Murphy but Rollins would make the save once again during the pin. This would be followed by solid back and forth between both teams, but the team of Murphy and Rollins would secure the tag team titles as Murphy would distract the referee so Rollins can hit the Stomp onto Erik so Murphy can get the pinfall.
- Solid matchup with a surprising title change. I like how Owens, Joe, and AOP were tossed during the commercial break to let the match grow on it’s own. Murphy and Rollins work really well together, but one would have figured that AOP would have been the ones to defeat the Viking Raiders for the tag team titles, so it will be interesting to see where this will go.
After the break we see Rollins with his disciples celebrating their tag team championship victory.
Some segment with the Street Profits ripping off Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update”. Pointless segment.
We got Matt Hardy in action next!
- Matt Hardy v. Erick Rowan
Hardy getting a few strikes in, but Rowan overpowering Hardy. After knocking Matt outside the ring Rowan wants to know if Matt wants to see what’s inside the cage, but Rowan got bit again and bashes the cage on the steps which allows Hardy a chance for more offence, but Rowan flattens Hardy outside the ring, then in the ring hits the Iron Claw Slam for the victory.
- Good to see Matt getting some action, but sadly in a squash match to Rowan. Though it’s good to see that more WWE Superstars are getting involved with this storyline for Rowan as it’ll help grow this story for what’s in the cage.
Promo for the mixed tag team match between Lana and Bobby Lashley against Rusev and Liv Morgan.
After the break Owens and Joe are interviewed in the back Owens says that they’ll fix the issue of Rollins and Murphy being the new tag team champions, and both declare that they are both in the Rumble match. Then we get an interview with Mojo Rawley, the 24/7 Champion, and then destroy the Singh Brothers.
Before the break we would get another promo from Lana inside the ring.
- Liv Morgan and Rusev v. Lana and Bobby Lashley
To start the match we would see Liv chase after Lana, and Liv getting some offense in before Lashley working the distraction for Lana. After taking some offense from Lana, bith would hit the double clothesline which would allow Liv to tag in Rusev so he can get his hands on Lashley. However, in the end it would be Lashley picking up the pinfall on Rusev despite Liv hitting a sweet enziguri on Lashley.
- It’s was an ok match. Liv hitting the enziguri on Lashley was really cool to see, and Liv’s new look gives off an adorable killer’s look which works for her.
Well that was RAW. Had some highs, and it had some lows.
Let us know what you thought of RAW in the comments!