Raw prepares for a hardcore holiday celebration!
‘Twas the Raw Before TLC, and all over tonight, grudges are stirring, and everyone wants to fight! Will AJ Styles send Drew McIntyre a message through his match with Sheamus?
- AJ Styles w/ Jordan Omogbehin VS Sheamus; Styles wins.
- Six Man Tag: The Hurt Business VS Jeff Hardy & The New Day; The Hurt Business wins.
- Lana VS Nia Jax; Lana wins.
- 2v1 Handicap: The Miz & John Morrison VS Keith Lee; Miz & Morrison win.
- Mace w/ Retribution VS Ricochet; Mace wins.
- Shayna Baszler w/ Nia Jax VS Dana Brooke; Brooke wins, by disqualification.
- MVP VS Matt Riddle; Riddle wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Raw presents an all new episode of The Dirt Sheet!
The Miz and his Mr. Money in the Bank contract sit in the ring, and says “Dirt Sheet Productions” proudly presents The Nightmare Before TLC. A tale so violent and tantalizing, the world may not be ready for it. But also, Miz and John Morrison are prepared for their 2v1 Handicap match with Keith Lee later tonight, because they know how to give us what we want. And what we want is the story of two superstars set to compete in a TLC match for THE WWE World Championship. “let’s begin, shall we?”
‘Twas the nightmare before TLC, and all through the ThunderDome, everyone was excited to hear Miz read this awesome poem. First, the challenger, the greatest hero for miles and miles, the protagonist of this story, the Phenomenal AJ Styles! Next, the champion, and honestly our second choice- Oh, don’t forget Styles’ friend with the deep and mighty voice. Oh, right, Omogbehin. He wasn’t forgotten, just cut for time. Sorry. But where was Miz? Oh yes, who would be brave enough to face these foes? That’s where this gets interesting! Because we all know Drew McIntyre is the bravest of all! So strong and so tall! Morrison is playing the part of McIntyre, though. “They’ll never take my freedom~!” Don’t improv, John.
Sunday will start with a bang and a whack, as Styles hits a chair over McIntyre’s back! AYE, ME BACK! Then Styles will smash McIntyre through tables until he’s half dead, and will make visions of TLC dance through his head. McIntyre may pull out an illegal sword in the fight, but Styles isn’t afraid to the wannabe knight. Styles dodges and proclaims, “Chivalry’s dead, just like your title reign!” And after the dramatic death scene, can Miz continue the story!? “And after all this chaos, there arose such a clatter. AJ Styles will climb to the top of the ladder.” He’ll climb up, prove he has one, and prove he is the NEW WWE World Champion!
But… If Styles should fail and McIntyre does reap the glory, then Miz attacks and enters the story! The champ is out cold, expressionless and blank! It’s time for The Miz to be Mr. Money in the Bank! Cash in the contract, pins Styles, 1-2-3, and Miz is once again champion of all WWE! That is not in the book Styles gave him! It was aa creative liberty to make the story better. But here comes Sheamus to shut this all down! He thought he’d seen it all, but clearly he hasn’t. While this “community performance theater” was slightly entertaining, he and Styles have a match tonight. And while these lads like to run their mouths and play with their swords, Sheamus is prepared to fight with fists.
Styles tells Sheamus that if he’s not going to be part of the solution, he’s just part of the problem. Solution, problem, yeah, okay. Sheamus doesn’t mind being a problem. Styles wants Sheamus to wait, their match was for later. Back off. CHRISTMAS TREE ATTACK! Sheamus withstands that attack, to throw the gift box at Styles’ head! Omos shields Styles a little too late! Will what was meant to wait go down after the break?
AJ Styles w/ Jordan Omogbehin VS Sheamus!
It will! Raw returns as the bell rings and Styles fires off on Sheamus! Sheamus ROCKS Styles, CLUBS him down, then brings him up to scoop and SLAM! Sheamus drops a knee and covers, ONE! Sheamus wraps Styles up in a cobra clutch but Styles gets up, only to be put in the corner. Sheamus throws body shots, European Uppercuts, but Styles hits back. Sheamus ROCKS Styles again, rains down fists and stomps, but lets off as the ref counts. Styles gets out, Sheamus follows, but Styles gets back in. Sheamus gets on the apron but Styles kicks him down! Styles stomps Sheamus then brings him up through the ropes.
Styles bumps Sheamus off buckles, RAMS his shoulder in and again, then lets off to whip Sheamus corner to corner. Sheamus reverses and Styles hits hard off buckles! Sheamus keeps his eyes on Omos, then he goes back to stand on Styles’ head! The ref counts, Sheamus stops at 4, then drags Styles up to snapmare and KICK in the back! Styles writhes, Sheamus digs a knee into his head, but Styles keeps shoulders up, so Sheamus drops the knee! Sheamus throws EuroUppers but Styles KICKS a leg! And KICKS it again! Sheamus shoves Styles, clinches, but Styles throws an uppercut of his own! Styles whips but Sheamus reverses, Styles rolls off his back but runs into a back drop!
Sheamus seethes as he looms over Styles. Sheamus stalks Styles to ropes, chinbars and armlocks and leans on the holds. Styles endures, fights up, but Sheamus hooks his face! The ref reprimands, Styles gets the ropebreak and Sheamus lets go at 4. The ref warns Sheamus, but Styles throws Sheamus out! Sheamus gets up and back in and shoulders into Styles! Styles KICKS back, then drags Sheamus through ropes to KNEE him and throw heavy hands! And CHOPS! The ref backs Styles off but Styles runs in and KNEE TRIGGERS Sheamus down! Styles lets the ring count climb, but Sheamus gets up at 5 of 10.
Sheamus climbs up to the apron but Styles catches him! Sheamus powers through, suplexes Styles and TOSSES him! Sheamus drags Styles back up, for another suplex and TOSS! And then another, but Styles fights back. Sheamus throws body shots, Styles throat chops! And dropkicks! Sheamus goes out near Omos but the ref warns him. Omos stays back, Styles slingshots but Sheamus moves! Sheamus CLUBS Styles, Styles resists the Electric Chair, so Sheamus shifts around, but Omos saves Styles from the bomb! Sheamus and Omos stare down as the ring count climbs, but Raw goes to break!
Raw returns again and Styles has a toehold! He cranks on the leg, then KNEE BREAKERS! Sheamus tries to fight back as Styles pulls on the toehold again! Sheamus pulls hair, the ref reprimands and counts and Sheamus lets go at 4. And he throws elbows instead! He clobbers Styles off the leg! Sheamus crawls away but Styles stalks him, and KICKS the leg! Styles frowns as he goes after the leg and puts it on the ropes! Styles stands on the leg and stomps it! Sheamus clutches his knee as he goes to the apron but Styles claws at his face. The ref reprimands, Styles backs off and brings Sheamus up but Sheamus CHOPS! Styles kicks, Sheamus kicks back! Styles kicks the bad leg and stomps it!
Sheamus scrambles to a corner as Styles catches his breath. Sheamus kicks but Styles KICKS the leg! Styles drags Sheamus up, whips him corner to corner, but Sheamus reverses to get the IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! But it’s on the bad leg so it’s a bit double-edged for Sheamus! Both men slowly rise, Sheamus CLOBBERS Styles with double ax handles! Sheamus scoops Styles for a FALL AWAY SLAM! Styles ends up in a corner, Sheamus walks on the bad leg into a BOOT! Styles runs into a KNEE! Cover, TWO!! Styles survives and Sheamus is too sore to be frustrated. Styles flounders to ropes, Sheamus stalks over, but Styles throws Sheamus out! Omos is there again and the ref warns him not to do anything!
Sheamus gets up o the apron, counter punches Styles, and gets him for the Beats of the Bodhrain! Sheamus goes up top now, but the bad leg slows him down. Sheamus leaps, FLYING CLOTHESLINE! Cover, TWO!! Sheamus grits his teeth and hobbles over, fireman’s carries Styles, but Styles elbows free! Styles gets around, gets the leg, but they’re in the ropes. Styles moves it away to CALF CRUSHER!! Sheamus shouts as he endures the pain, and he moves around to find ropes! ROPEBREAK! Styles lets go in frustration but also exhaustion, and Sheamus clutches his leg as he gets to the corner. Styles heads over, drags Sheamus up, and reels him in. Styles fireman’s carries out of the Clash to WHITE NOISE! Cover, TWO!!
Both men are down and Omos coaches Styles on. Sheamus gets up first but Styles is in the corner. Fans clap on their ThunderDome screens as Sheamus basically drags his bad leg. Sheamus throws body shots and brings Styles up to another fireman’s carry. Sheamus climbs the corner?! Styles slips out and then sweeps the legs! High stack cover, Styles wins!!
Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall
The Phenomenal One is fired up as he gets the best of the Fella! If Styles can chop down a big bad Celtic Warrior, can he do the same to the Scottish Warrior in Drew McIntyre?
Styles talks smack but Sheamus goes after him! Omos saves Styles and drags Sheamus into the ropes! Sheamus’ leg is stuck, Styles kicks away on Sheamus in the Tree of Woe position! Omos fetches Styles a CHAIR! Styles SMACKS away with the chair! He’s chopping the Tree of Woe down, and he SMACKS the leg, too!! And again!! “I think the message was sent.” That might be an understatement! But will Styles not like McIntyre’s response?
Sheamus is still stirring, Styles SMACKS him even more!! The ref finally gets Styles and Omos to leave! “You can talk to your friend when you’re in the hospital together.”
The Hurt Business arrives!
They find catering, and see someone getting a snack. What is that? It’s a bronutt! Organic, homemade donuts made by Matt Riddle. No, MVP meant the hat. On, the Original Bro hat? Just free with the bronutts. Want one? The Hurt Business pushes the guy around, and then pats him on the shoulder. Y’know what goes good with donuts? Milk. Bobby Lashley dumps an entire carton of milk on the guy’s head! It’s organic, too. Now get out of here!
Sarah wants to interview but she tries to reconsider. But she asks MVP about his match with Riddle, who is focused after Lashley. Riddle, focused? “I think you mean ‘brocused.'” MVP says Riddle can barely put a sentence together, but he’s focused on something? Riddle is a great athlete, but he’s not MVP. MVP will teach Riddle about respect. And right here, he’ll teach Sarah about journalism. She should’ve asked about the unstoppable team that is The Hurt Business, who will send The New Day limping into TLC, and send Jeff Hardy limping to whatever circus will have him. The clowns belong together, and be put in their own world of hurt.
Speaking of, The New Day and Jeff Hardy meet backstage.
They’ve color coordinated blues and yellows, right to Hardy’s face paint. Riddle heads over and realizes they have a match. Can he run an idea by them real quick? Xavier Woods has told him this already: G4 is not going to make a quiz show called “Riddle Me This.” No, no, not that. Riddle knows the New Day misses Big E, so why not have “Bro E” in your corner? Well alright, as Kofi Kingston likes to say, “The enemy of the Butt Hurt Business is a friend of ya bois, the NEW~ DAY~!” So then, the #HardyBros are gonna join forces with the Raw Tag Team Champions to thwart a common enemy!
Six Man Tag: The Hurt Business VS Jeff Hardy & The New Day w/ Matt Riddle!
Cedric Alexander, Shelton Benjamin and the All Mighty CEO are going to represent, but their opponents for TLC have a different plan! Will the Charismatic Enigma and the equally charismatic W, W, E, Raw, Tag, Team CHAMPIONS~ get some major momentum before Sunday?
Raw returns as the Hurt Business makes their entrance. The teams sort out and Woods starts with Lashley. They circle, tie up, and Lashley gets around and wants the Hurt Lock! Woods slips away and Lashley says it was that close. Woods and Lashley tie up again, Woods headlocks but Lashley powers out to run Woods over! Lashley then drags Woods back up, puts him in an open corner, and whips corner to corner. Woods goes up but gets caught! Woods fights free and mule kicks! Tag to Kofi, they double wrench and double CHOP! Kofi runs but Lashley trophy lifts him! Lashley TOSSES Kofi and Alexander tags in! Lashley didn’t approve that! But Alexander runs into an arm-drag and cover, TWO!
Kofi keeps on Alexander’s arm, but Alexander puts Kofi on the ropes. Alexander whips but Kofi reverses to monkey flip! Cover, ONE, and Kofi drags Alexander up. Kofi wrenches, tags in Hardy and Hardy clubs the arm! Hardy bumps Alexander of buckles, then runs him to another corner for more buckles! And then back the other way! Hardy wrenches and clubs the arm but Alexander wrenches back to mule kick! Tag to Benjamin and he throws haymakers on Hardy. Benjamin keeps on Hardy in a corner but the ref counts. Benjamin stops, whips, but Hardy stops himself to SLING BLADE back!
MVP coaches Benjamin and he blocks the Twist! Benjamin runs in but is put on the apron. Hardy DECKS Benjamin, BLASTS the Hurt Business corner, Alexander gets in to get Kofi’s dropkick! Riddle joins in as the team dances it out! The Hurt Business regroups and cools off as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Kofi fires off strikes on Benjamin! Benjamin tackles Kofi to a corner and rams a shoulder in! Benjamin throws haymakers, whips Kofi, but Kofi goes up and over and runs, to LEAPING LARIAT! Kofi runs for the NEW~ DAY~ BOOM DROP! Kofi claps it up but Alexander distracts the ref, and Lashley drags Kofi out and TOSSES him! Woods and Riddle protest but MVP says nothing. Benjamin puts Kofi in, covers, TWO! Benjamin tags Lashley and they mug Kofi. Lashley taunts Kofi as he stays in his way, and then snap suplexes him! Lashley dares woods and Hardy to do something, then he goes back to Kofi.
Tag to Alexander, the Hurt Business mugs Kofi more, and Alexander KICKS Kofi! Alexander waistlocks, dead lifts and SLAMS Kofi down! MVP coaches Alexander as he elbows away on Kofi’s side! Alexander puts on a smothering chinlock and he grinds Kofi down. Kofi sits up but Alexander digs a knee into his back. Kofi keeps fighting up and he throws body shots. Alexander throws Kofi by his hair! Alexander drags Kofi to a cover, TWO, into an armbar! Tag to Benjamin and Benjamin stomps Kofi. Benjamin scoops and SLAMS Kofi, then drags him back up. Benjamin scoops and SLAMS him again! Cover, TWO!
Benjamin keeps Kofi down and puts him on the ropes. Benjamin bends Kofi back while Alexander mockingly asks, “What’s wrong?!” Kofi hits back, Benjamin drags him up and over, tag to Lashley. The Hurt Business mugs Kofi, Lashley RAMS his shoulder in again and again, then he gets in Woods’s and Hardy’s face. Kofi hits back but Lashley puts him in a corner for elbow after elbow! Lashley digs his boot in but the ref counts. Lashley stops, drags Kofi up but Kofi kicks back! Lashley digs his hands into Kofi’s face! The ref counts, Lashley lets off and drags Kofi over to bump off buckles. Tag to Benjamin and the mugging continues.
Tag to Alexander, he and Benjamin stomp away! Alexander taunts Woods then drags Kofi up to dig fingers into his face! The ref counts, Alexander stops at 3, tags Benjamin, and they just keep mugging Kofi. Benjamin snapmares Kofi, chinlocks, digs a knee in and Kofi endures. Hardy and Riddle rally with the ThunderDome screens as Kofi fights up. Benjamin CLUBS Kofi down, then sucker punches Woods! Benjamin brings Kofi up, puts him in a corner and whips corner to corner, but Kofi comes back to STOMP him down! Both men are down and Kofi crawls, hot tag to Hardy!
Hardy rallies on Benjamin with forearms and haymakers, then whips! Benjamin reverses but Hardy CLOBBERS him! Hardy hits the atomic drop, trips Benjamin for the leg-splitting leg drop! Basement dropkick and a splash, cover, TWO! Hardy whips Benjamin, Benjamin reverses and Alexander tags in to KNEE Hardy down! Cover, TWO! Alexander covers again, TWO! Alexander rains down rights, drags Hardy up by his hair and swings, but into Hardy’s Russian Leg Sweep! Leg hook cover, TWO!! Benjamin also kicks Hardy, but Woods dropkicks Benjamin! Lashley hits a COMPLETE SHOT on Woods, Kofi missile dropkicks Lashley out!
Kofi builds speed and FLIES to take Benjamin down! Woods PLANCHAS but Lashley catches him, and THROWS him into barriers! Then Lashley CLOBBERS Kofi! Hardy WRECKS Lashley with a dropkick! Alexander sneaps up to cradle Hardy, TWO!! Alexander rolls Hardy, has tights, TWO!! Alexander backslides, TWO!! Hardy flounders, Alexander drags him up but there’s a switch! Tag to Lashley! Hardy gives Alexander a TWIST OF FATE! But Lashley gets the half nelson! Hardy fights off the rest, and then dodges Lashley to POST him! Hardy goes up fast, but Alexander trips him up! Lashley drags Hardy into the HURT LOCK!! Hardy flails, he taps! The Hurt Business wins!!
Winners: The Hurt Business, by submission
Alexander is the most pumped up, even though it was Lashley that finished this off. Alexander declares he and Benjamin will be the new Raw Tag Team Champions, but is he getting ahead of himself?
Asuka talks with Lana backstage.
TLC, them VS Nia and Shayna, and Lana feels like she and Asuka really could be Women’s Tag Team Champions. Their confidence and strength is big, but Lana has to face Nia alone now. She is afraid. But Asuka says while Nia is scary, Lana will still go out there and face her! And that alone makes Lana the bravest person Asuka knows! Asuka is proud to be Lana’s tag partner! Now go out there and BEAT Nia! Lana has Asuka’s support, but will that be enough to overcome the Irresistible Force?
Lana VS Nia Jax!
Raw returns and Nia makes her entrance. To make it somewhat fair to Lana, Shayna Baszler stays in the back. But also, Nia of course doesn’t feel she needs back-up for the Ravishing Russian. The bell rings and the two tie up. Nia throws Lana down hard and Lana gets to a corner. Nia taunts Lana and Lana comes back, but Nia just shoves her to a corner. Nia runs in and corner splashes! “This is what you wanted!” Nia shoves Lana down! Asuka watches backstage and cheers as Lana throws body shots, but Nia just knocks Lana back down. Nia scoops Lana, trophy lifts her but Lana RANAS! Lana stomps Nia, hurries up top, but Nia headbutts her down!
Nia scowls as she climbs up and hoists Lana up into a fireman’s carry! But Lana slips around to a sunset flip! Nia holds on, Lana KICKS a leg out! Nia is stuck in a Tree of Woe and Lana STMOPS her down! Cover, LANA WINS!?
Winner: Lana, by pinfall
“The impossible has happened! Lana has beaten Nia Jax one-on-one!” But Shayna ambushes Asuka! The Queen of Spades takes the Empress of Tomorrow out and Nia CLOBBERS Lana! Nia is a sore loser as she thrashes Lana around on the mat! Shayna joins in and they drag Lana around. Nia hits a leg drop! And then sets Lana’s arm up for Shayna to STOMP!! “When are you gonna learn?!” Shayna grabs a leg and Nia slaps Lana around! “This is what you wanted!” Shayna stomps away mercilessly on Lana’s leg! And then strips the boot away to get right at the foot itself! Lana is begging for mercy but gets none from Shayna’s toehold! Nia DROPS A LEG ON THE LEG!! AND AGAIN!!
Asuka drags Shayna out and throws her away! CODE BREAKER for Nia, hip attack for Shayna! ROUNDHOUSE sends Nia rolling but the damage was already done! Lana clutches her leg and Asuka defends her, but they may have already lost the Women’s Tag Team Championship match before it’s begun! Is Lana’s spirit broken after the champions tried to break her body?
Ladies and gentlemen: Elias.
The Drifter introduces himself, plays his electric guitar, and says, “This is Jaxson Ryker.” Whoa, the formerly Forgotten Son is back? Elias’s loyal fans saw that Symphony of Destruction match, and saw Elias be electrified! His body seized up, he could barely breathe, and all he saw was blinding light! The doctors say voltage of that level would’ve killed an ordinary man, but Elias is not ordinary. In fact, this is the EXTRAORDINARY Elias! He was baptized by lightning and he gained so much. Elias had visions of his purpose, and of Ryker. Ryker is a man who knows the universal truth: WWE stands for WALK WITH ELIAS! Ryker makes sure to say that loud and proud.
“Elias’s music has changed me. I have been reborn by hearing the universal truth.” Elias is a visionary, and for far too long, he has been interrupted, disrespected and attacked. Ryker is going to stop that. Thank you, Ryker. Now, Elias would love to demonstrate his musical healing power, so he dedicates this to Lana. Wait, R-Truth barges in? Truth doesn’t want to interrupt, but he wants to apologize for the last time he interrupted on WWE Main Event. Truth is not an interrupter, that’s not him. But you’re interrupting now. Oh… What does Truth have to say for himself? Does he have anything to say? No, he doesn’t want to interrupt this time. Okay then, Elias will get on with the song.
But then the 24/7 chase is here! Truth gets out of the ring, he ducks Lince Dorado as he FLIES, and Drew Gulak takes the hit! Erik throws Gran Metalik into the ring and Ryker CLOBBERS him! Then Erik throws Akira Tozawa in, only for Ryker to lift and TOSS Tozawa onto all of them! Ryker isn’t done with Metalik, he CHOKE BOMBS him while Truth runs away! Elias leaves it at that. Perhaps we’ll hear his music next time. But with Ryker being his bouncer, will Elias no longer have to worry about interruptions?
The Miz and Morrison talk backstage.
Miz says he feels like Styles is trying to get on his good side, but he doesn’t appreciate Styles being pushy about the MITB cash-in all because he thinks he can beat Miz easier than he can McIntyre. Yeah, that’s messed up. But Styles has a point. What? Well think of it this way. Even if Styles wins, cash-in on him! That’s easier than beating McIntyre. Keith Lee comes by and says he has an idea. He wants what happened to Sheamus to happen to him? Something like that.
Keith has a coin, and says he’ll do a coin toss. Miz calls heads. No you have to wait until he tosses! No you don’t! Keith tosses, Miz quickly says “heads” again, and it’s… HEADS! Boom! Miz wins! But Keith says congratulations. This is the only win they’re getting tonight. Will the Limitless One make sure the Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century doesn’t even make it to TLC?
2v1 Handicap: The Miz & John Morrison VS Keith Lee!
Raw returns as the entrances are made. Keith Lee is out first, followed by Miz and Morrison. Will the Hollywood A-Lister and Guru of Greatness soon #BaskInHisGlory?
The bell rings and the Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century go after Keith at the same time with kicks and hands! Keith ends up in a corner but he dumps them both to the apron! Keith clobbers Miz but Morrison slides in to throw forearms! Keith just scowls. Morrison is wary, he bobs ‘n’ weaves and gets around, but Keith swats away kicks. Morrison forearms again but still nothing! Keith blocks a kick to SOBAT! Miz ax handles in outta nowhere! Miz fires off haymakers and kicks in the other corner, but the ref reprimands. Miz runs corner to corner but Keith puts him up top! Miz boots back, leaps again, but into an OVERHEAD SUPLEX!
Keith glares at Miz as Miz rolls out but Morrison attacks from behind! Morrison kicks away on the legs and then SWITCHBLADE KICKS, to a SHINING WIZARD! Morrison brings Keith up but Keith shoves him, and FLAPJACKS on the rebound! Morrison gets up, Keith POUNCES him out and over into Miz! The Greatest Tag Team isn’t feeling so great as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns, and Keith TOSSES Morrison across the way! Miz throws body shots but Keith throws knees into him! Then he throws Miz into Morrison! Keith DECKS Miz, watches him roll away, then runs at Morrison, but the drop toehold sends him into buckles! Morrison throws body shots, Miz runs in for the A-List Lariat! Morrison SUPERKICKS! Cover, ONE?!? Miz BOOTS Keith down, Morrison SHINING WIZARDS! Cover, TWO! Morrison drags Keith up, he and Miz have Keith for a DOUBLE GUT BUSTER! Basement DDT! Standing shooting star! Cover, TWO! Keith is still in this and the Greatest Tag Team gets frustrated!
Miz and Morrison stalk Keith to ropes, Miz hooks Keith’s face! Keith has the ropes but Morrison kicks his hand away. Morrison gets Keith up, they double whip but Keith holds ropes! Keith throws Miz out, then Morrison! Morrison lands on the apron and kicks back then throws forearms. Keith GRIZZLY MAGNUM CHOPS back! Keith brings Morrison up to suplex him up and in, but Miz trips Keith so Morrison can crossbody! Cover, TWO! Keith survives but Morrison has a chinlock on! Miz gets the legs for a Half Crab! Keith endures double the submissions so the Greatest Tag Team lets go to stomp Keith down.
Morrison and Miz bring Keith back up, double suplex, but Keith blocks! Keith double suplexes THEM! All three men are down and fans rally on their screens! Miz and Morrison get to adjacent corners, Keith starts clobbering them! corner splash for Miz! Corner splash for Morison! Keith TOSSES Morrison into Miz! Keith dares one of them to get up, and Morrison is first. Keith pops him up but Morrison fights it off! So Keith just swings Morrison into Miz! Morrison pops out the back, Miz BOOTS, Morrison FLYING CHUCK! BOOT, springboard, CHOP BLOCK! DOUBLE COVER, the Greatest Tag Team wins!!
Winners: The Miz & John Morrison, by pinfall
Keith got out at 3.1 but that’s still too late! Will this be the boost Miz and Morrison need to be ready for a cash-in on whoever it is that wins at TLC?
Raw presents an all new Firefly Fun House!
But it’s not in the fun house! Bray is heading to the ring! Yowie wowie, that Fiend themed Christmas sweater! And he isn’t alone, of course! The puppets have front row seats at the barriers! Mercy, Ramblin’ and Huskis are having a great time! “Hello, fireflies~!” It is so great to see the fans’ smiling faces in the WWE ThunderDome! He means it. It warms his soul. But before all the fun stuff, Bray has an apology to make. “Randy Orton, I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Randy, I really am sorry.” They were having a great time last week, and things get out of hand and now look! What happened was all just “one giant misunderstanding.” Because Bray knows that sometimes, “he” has a very sad, sick, deranged, twisted mind of his own.
But anyway, Bray knows that there are things he has to fix about himself. He really wishes he and Orton finished what they started. Because Sunday, after Orton takes “him” on at TLC, Bray’s not sure what’s going to be left of Orton! “And there shall be no fun and games at TLC! Instead, all there’s gonna be is sadness and pain.” But y’know what? YOWIE WOWIE that’s splendid! So then, Bray will celebrate! TLC will be no laughing matter, so tonight will be! In honor of this “field trip,” Bray has prepared jokes for The Viper. And they will be hiss-sterical! He’s laughing already! Okay, hold on, Bray will take his list of jokes out.
First! “What’s the best way to measure a viper? Inches, because they don’t have any feet!” HOO HAHAHA! The puppets like that one! Second! “What do snakes use to clean their car windows? Windshield vipers!” BADUM TSH! Another zinger! Bray is woozy he’s laughing so hard. But Orton interrupts on the titantron. Orton is NOT laughing, and he wants Bray to pay attention. “Last week, I said that when the time comes, I’d look the Devil in the eye and tell him that the most evil son of a bitch has come home.” But Orton didn’t think Bray and The Fiend would give him the chance. After Orton put Bray down with the three deadliest letters in sports entertainment, Bray changed and “he” appeared #outtanowhere.
Orton doesn’t often say this, but for the first time in a long time, he was outmaneuvered by “him.” That won’t happen at TLC or tonight! Orton knows how much Bray loves to play games, and that he can’t help himself. So Orton thinks Bray should extend this “field trip” and visit Orton tonight. How about playing a game tonight? A little bit of hide ‘n’ seek. Bray laughs and says he can’t resist a game! So he accepts! Then come find Orton. OoOo~! Bray will find you, Orton~! “Let the games begiiiin~!” Bray begins the hunt, but is this just a trap being set by the Viper?
Mace w/ Retribution VS Ricochet!
While Mustafa Ali is furious with Slapjack and Reckoning for not wrecking Ricochet and Dana Brooke, perhaps the monolithic Mace can! Will the One and Only finally become one of Retribution?
Raw returns and Mustafa has joined commentary. Ricochet makes his entrance, the bell rings and Ricochet slides under but gets caught! He avoids Mace’s boot, kicks away on the leg, but Mace catches him. Ricochet SLAPS but Mace just TOSSES Ricochet to a corner and back body blocks! Mace rolls Ricochet, and LEG LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Mace clamps onto Ricochet and clubs away, then cranks on the neck! Ricochet endures, Mustafa rants on the disrespect shown to the group, but Ricochet kicks back. Mace CLUBS Ricochet, throws him to another corner, but Ricochet goes out and then springboard missile dropkicks in!
Mace flounders, Ricochet is up, and he dodges Mace to fire off kicks and haymakers! Mace shoves, Ricochet kicks back! Then springboards to crossbody! Ricochet STANDING SHOOTING STARS! Cover, TWO! Ricochet keeps his cool as he catches his breath. Ricochet glances back at Ali but Ali sends Slapjack! Slapjack gets on the apron, Ricochet jumps over then triangle BOOTS him down! T-Bar is next, but Ricochet handspring kicks him away! But Mace DOUBLE HAND CHOKE SLAMS! Cover, TWO!?! Ricochet survives and Ali is furious! Mace fires up, Ali tells him to “Shut him down!” Mace obeys, fireman’s carries and spins, for the SIDE SLAM! Cover, Mace wins!
Winner: Mace, by pinfall
Retribution gets a win because they all helped Mace on that one! Ali has his men sit Ricochet up, and Ali says, “This doesn’t end until I say it ends! And it ends when you join Retribution!” Then T-Bar and Mace SLAM Ricochet down again! Will
Bray Wyatt is seeking while Orton is hiding.
Oh hey! Does Matt Riddle know where Orton is? Sup, bro! No, it’s Bray. Well, Riddle hasn’t seen Randy, but he’s seen the future. The future is BRONOUNS! Bros and people who talk are the perfect blend. Bronouns would be great for Firefly Fun House! Yes, good idea, but Bray’s kinda busy. Alright, have fun! Riddle is about to get ready for his match, but then Ramblin’ Rabbit says sup! Whoa, Ramblin’ reminds him of Baby Yoda. Riddle will call Ramblin’ #BabyBroda. Riddle’s rabbit, Skipper, is a big fan. Could you sign this carrot for him? Ramblin’ obliges, but will Riddle be ready for MVP?
Lana has been taken to a “local medical facility,” and while the full extent of her elbow and knee injuries are not yet known, it is already clear that she will NOT be cleared for TLC this Sunday. What does this mean for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship match?
Shayna Baszler w/ Nia Jax VS Dana Brooke!
The Queen of Spades is on top of the world after she and Nia all but sidelined Lana. Will she celebrate by doing the same to the Flex Appeal?
Raw returns as Dana makes her entrance. The bell rings and Dana fires off on Shayna! This is for Mandy! But Shayna spins Dana, swings her around and hits a backbreaker! Dana goes to a corner, Shayna KNEES her down! Cover, ONE! Shayna drags Dana by her arm and tortures it! She wants to do what she did to Mandy Rose! The hammerlock, hair down, and the- NO! Dana dodges the stomp, then baits Shayna into a corner! Shayna knees the buckles, Dana handsprings in to back elbow! But Shayna has the sleeper! Dana elbows hard, then runs to ENZIGURI!
Dana fires off and LARIATS Shayna down! Dana is all fired up as she stomps Shayna and goes to a corner. Dana climbs up, but Nia shoves her down!!
Winner: Dana Brooke, by disqualification
Nia doesn’t care about rules, she wants to hurt someone else! She puts Dana back in, Shayna drags Dana up and clubs her down! And then KICKS a leg! Mandy Rose is back!! Mandy has a kendo stick and she SMACKS Shayna! And then SMACKS Nia! And fires off! Shayna gets in, gets the stick and KNEES Mandy down! Shayna looms over Mandy but ASUKA returns! Asuka kicks away on Shayna, and then Mandy ROCKS Shayna! Back kick, KNEE FROM A ROSE! SLIDING KICK for Nia! Asuka and the #SexyMuscleFriends stand tall as the tag champions regroup! But if Lana is out, will someone sub-in for that tag title shot?
R-Truth talks with someone backstage.
Truth says he has a PS6 because the PS5 already sold out everywhere. But his nephew wanted the PS5, and did five minutes in detention for excessive loitering. Truth wants to help his cousin out. What’s Huskis think? He looks like he’s done time in the pen. Bray finds Huskis and says, “What have I said about talking to strangers?” Truth says that’s true. Huskis should listen to his dad. Huskis is Bray’s son, right? What a beautiful family. Bray heads off to continue the hide ‘n’ seek, but who else will he and the puppets run into?
Raw returns and Bray is still seeking.
Oh Randyyyyy~! AHA! No… No Randy there. “Come out, come out, wherever you are~!” Bray thinks he’s found something. A dark room, with a rocking chair in it… Bray heads that way, but something isn’t right here. Bray takes a seat, like the good ol’ days. And Orton appears from the shadows! BAM! Orton gets Bray down and rains down fists! Orton drags Bray back up and throws him into a crate! And bounces him off it before throwing uppercuts! Orton opens the crate but Bray hits back! Orton throws Bray into the garage door, then again! And then he shoves him in the crate! Orton stomps Bray until he stays inside, and then he closes the lid, to lock it!
But Orton isn’t done there. Orton references his past with a jug of LIGHTER FLUID!! He pours it all over the crate, until the jug is empty! And then, he ignites a lighter, and throws it onto the crate! It goes up in flames!! Orton says the games are over! But the FIEND bursts out!? MANDIBLE CLAW!! Orton can’t get free, and The Fiend RAMS Orton into the garage door! He smothers the Viper all over again! And laughs while he does it! Orton is OUT! “LET ME IN!” Will Orton even make it to TLC now?!
MVP VS Matt Riddle!
Montel Vontavius Porter wants to put “the clown” in his place and sweep the night for the Hurt Business! But with the power of Bronutts fueling the fire, will Riddle get the better of MVP?
The bell rings, MVP dodges a knee and throws off haymakers! MVP CLUBS Riddle down but Riddle gets to a corner. MVP throws more haymakers but Riddle hits back. MVP throws knees, Riddle flounders and MVP fires off forearms and an uppercut! Riddle gets to another corner, MVP runs in but Riddle moves! The boot hits buckles, Riddle hits a FINAL FLASH! Riddle goes up top, for a FLOATING BRO! Cover, Riddle wins!!
Winner: Matt Riddle, by pinfall
But the Hurt Business rushes out! Riddle slips away, Bronutts and all! The Bro’s sweet victory leaves a bitter taste in Bobby Lashley’s mouth, will the Rocky Mountain Machine do something to solve this Riddle?
Tom Philips presides over the TLC Ascension Ceremony.
As such, there are tables, ladders and chairs set up all around the ring, just as they will be for the WWE World Championship match at TLC. First out, the challenger, AJ Styles! With Omos, of course. And then, the champion, Drew McIntyre! With claymore sword, of course! McIntyre gets a mic and so does Styles, and Philips explains that the belt will be put on the hook and raised high above the ring. Then McIntyre and Styles will be able to address each other one last time. But Styles says McIntyre doesn’t need to address him, but address the WWE Championship. This will be the last time he’ll have it around his waist.
Styles will tell the world that he and McIntyre have never gone 1v1 ever, anywhere. So Styles dove deep into who McIntyre is, studied and researched who he was. Styles was shocked that it took McIntyre 19 years to climb this mountain and be champion! How is that possible?! All the accolades, the physical attributes, how did it take 19 years? Well McIntyre showed us a month ago after losing to Randy Orton at Hell in a Cell. Styles says McIntyre can’t handle the pressure. That is what got to McIntyre so many times. Yes, McIntyre beat Orton to get the belt back, but it changed him. McIntyre is making mistakes and taking too many risks. He is the WWE Champion, so why would he do that?! When was the last time McIntyre volunteered for a TLC Match? Never!
Styles, on the other hand, defended the world title in a TLC match and won! Styles knows what it takes to be a champion. So if Styles has to use ever table, ladder and chair in the arena, break and bend them on McIntyre’s back, then Styles will do that. So kiss the WWE Championship good-bye, because it will look phenomenal on Styles’ waist. McIntyre says that is quite the compelling speech. But McIntyre presents the facts as he sees it. Yes, they’ve never faced each other. And this is a match McIntyre has always wanted. Fans always wanted to see this, too. The answer to when it finally happens is this Sunday.
But yes, the match is TLC. As Styles pointed out, McIntyre hasn’t been in one and Styles has won in the past. McIntyre has lost the title and regained it. McIntyre thought his goal was just to become the champion, but losing it showed him that the real goal is to keep it. It’s one thing to get to the top of the mountain, but it’s a whole different game to stay at the top. “Who is McIntyre?” Styles should know like the back of his hand, but McIntyre will tell him: “I am the champion that led the WWE through uncharted waters throughout 2020.” He is the champion that doesn’t crack but thrives under pressure! He is a diamond! That journey made him this way! And he is the champion that will tear Styles apart this Sunday!
Here’s a quote that you can read between the lines on. “Every man dies, but not every man truly lives.” This Sunday, McIntyre will do whatever it takes to himself and to Styles to remain WWE Champion. So ask yourself, Styles: Are you willing to do the same? With that, McIntyre puts the title on the hanger, and it is hoisted up above the ring. Styles says McIntyre has it all together. He is ready to face Styles in this match. Good for McIntyre. But uh, what if it isn’t just Styles he has to face at that match? MIZ AN DMORRISON GET IN! They shove the ladder over on McIntyre! It’s a 3v1 mugging! They kick McIntyre to a corner, fire off forearms and stomps, and then Styles has Morrison fetch the ladder.
McIntyre fights back! He throws Styles out, and CLAYMORES Miz down! Morrison freezes up, CLAYMORE INTO THE LADDER! Styles returns, but he gets a GLASGOW KISS!! McIntyre tosses the ladder out and over the barriers!! McIntyre dares Styles to get up, but Omos throws in the steel steps!? Omos stares McIntyre down, and Styles CHOP BLOCKS a leg out! Styles aims, springboards in, and PHENOMENAL FOREARMS McIntyre down! Styles adds stomps, then has Omos fetch him a new ladder. Omos obliges, putting a ladder in for Styles. Styles brings that ladder around, aims at McIntyre and RAMS him in the ribs! And then RAMS him in the head! And then SLAMS the ladder on McIntyre’s back!!
Omos hands Styles a chair now! CHAIRSHOT to the back! And again! Styles wedges a chair in a corner, brings McIntyre around, and RAMS him into the chair! Omos gets Styles a table! The third and final element of this match type is added, but Styles also sets up the ladder! Styles sets the table up nearby, drags McIntyre over and punches him onto the wood. Styles climbs the ladder now, and MACHO ELBOWS McIntyre through the table! Then Styles finishes it off by climbing up and grabbing the belt! Will this happen all over again at TLC?!
A great Raw for the go-home to TLC! There was a lot of last minute developments, but I am a bit confused by a certain one. Lana being “injured” by Shayna and Nia was a natural move but it happening tonight to take her out of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships match wasn’t exactly the good kind of surprise. For one, there goes making it a Tables match to fit story. Asuka still has her spot in that match, and then we got Shayna VS Dana that was clearly just a way to bring about the mention of a substitute. Mandy Rose just came back from her “injury,” so I’m thinking it’s Dana. I still don’t know if that changes anything, but it would be interesting if Dana wins a belt without Mandy, and Mandy feels left out and starts to feel like how she (kayfabe) made Sonya Deville feel.
Another interesting development: Jaxson Ryker is back as Elias’ bouncer sidekick! He got to wreck Cruiserweights that were chasing after R-Truth, so that’s an easy way to reintroduce him. I wonder if he ends up getting the 24/7 Championship off Truth at some point. Or at least helps Elias get it off Truth and then defends Elias from all challengers. I was hoping one of Bray’s puppets was going to roll Truth up to get the belt, but oh well. Bray’s “field trip” wasn’t quite what I expected, but he and Orton did have a great segment backstage with the darkened room, the rocking chair, etc. A lot of great references to both Bray’s past and Orton’s, but with The Fiend standing tall again, is he really losing to Orton? I suppose that would help propel things towards a Firefly Fun House match in the future.
Hurt Business had a great night with their various rivals, even if they broke even on the night. The Six Man Tag was really good, and Alexander continuing to get so pumped up over these wins is a great story within the group. The tension with the group can be heightened win or lose for a great story going forward. And while MVP is great, I did honestly wonder during the match what was taking Riddle so long to finish him off, and then Riddle goes and puts him away quickly so it worked out. There will probably be a US Championship match announced, but I feel like it’d work out better for everyone if they stretch the build out to the Royal Rumble. That Raw Tag Team Championship match is going to be great stuff, though.
Mace VS Ricochet turned out a better segment than expected, especially with Ali on commentary. He had a great line to Joe about sitting in Mace’s seat because wink wink, nudge nudge, Made is Dio Maddin, who was on commentary until Brock Lesnar wrecked him, and then he was just replaced. Still hoping the endgame for Retribution is to finally have Keith Lee interacting with them. Speaking of Keith, I’m a little torn on him losing to Miz and Morrison. Miz and Morrison are meant to still be a capable tag team, even if they haven’t been booked that way against McIntyre. Given how McIntyre’s been tossing them around, them beating Keith feels bad for Keith. I wonder if Retribution fails to recruit Ricochet only to get Keith Lee instead.
And of course, The Miz and Morrison had a good part to play in the world title story. “The Nightmare Before TLC” was rather cheesy, but still fairly fun. Sheamus VS Styles was a great match, but naturally Styles wins to stay strong. Though, I think Styles just killed his chances in the final segment. Even though McIntyre wrecks Miz and Morrison back, Styles still has Omos, and Omos helps Styles finish McIntyre off. But with Styles doing all of that, and then literally taking the belt down for a “foreshadowing” of the win, that means he isn’t winning. Plus, all the talk Styles did hyping McIntyre up, I think the only way McIntyre doesn’t leave TLC with the title is if Miz cashes in successfully, and what better time to do that than after a match like a TLC?
My Score: 8.5/10