1.Seth Rollins vs Finn Balor ***1/2
2.Raw Tag Titles: RK-Bro(c) vs Dirty Dawgs ***1/2
3.WWE US Title: Priest(c) vs Apollo *1/4
4.Team Liv vs Team Becky *1/2
5.Big E vs Kevin Owens **1/2
If I am going to watch an episode of Raw, it's going to be in this format. Why am I even watching this at all? Because I like to watch at least one episode a year to make sure I am still being fair in my statements.
Seth is out and we are shown clips of his and Finn's drama from last week. He seems far more annoying than usual. Peak soap opera acting here. The second half was decent, at least.
Big E will defend against Seth at Day 1, which is apparently a New Year's special event.
Balor's music hit, they brawled, and then we started off the in-ring action side of the show with Finn versus Rollins. Pretty good TV match and a nice opener. Considering the news, Seth was the right dude to win here. A slight shit finish protects Balor.
The commentary team remains a big sigh.
Liv and Becky apparently had backstage drama last week.
Vince is shown backstage. Theory visits him backstage. What followed was pure insanity.
A contract signing segment aired next. Cheesy but fun. Becky versus Liv is set for next week. Lynch got cheap heat for shitting on the Islanders so I was happy. And Liv's contract promo was pretty well done, but also evil if you think harder on it. Iffy af, but par for the course for WWE. They should have had the two search for partners instead of the tron announcement manner they handled it.
Highlights with Orton and Riddle from last week ran and then they talked backstage. Meh. Riddle and Randy are dicks so it's fair that they're a team. The segment here was cheese.
The Raw Tag straps are on the line next. Roode was better in TNA. Dolph is Volador Jr. Randy is far better than he gets credit for at his style. Riddle is a dick, but decent in the ring, too. The match itself was better than expected for a TV giveaway. Borderline great, honestly.
Kevin informs Seth that he could be added to the Day One match if he beats Big E tonight. That could be the last match KO has before returning to KS. Rollins later confronts Adam Pearce which was funny I guess. KO and Seth had more moments later.
Edge is out next to pander a bit. Miz interrupts. It appears he's returned. Did Vince remember he existed because of that Punk promo? Nope, but it's funny timing regardless, even if it legit does mean nothing. He was apparently out at Dancing With the Stars. My grandpa used to like watching that.
Miz is still pretty solid on the stick. He looked like a complete douche once again, too. He's back with his Mrs. This segment did feel a lot like a weaker version of Punk and MJF's. That one was one of the best of the year. This was good, but nowhere near that same level. They also did reference AEW, for the record.
The United States Championship match was rough.
The women's clusterfuck was rough, as well.
Vince really is nuts.
Big E had some fun backstage when asked about his upcoming matches. It is cool seeing him as champ.
Vince talks like an old dude that was once wise. The one that stops you in the hall when you're at the nursing home to visit someone else.
Big E versus Kevin Owens time. Seth joined in to watch on. It was fine, but more story than anything and ended in a DQ finish that made Rollins look like an idiot.
WWE remains a circus act version of professional wrestling, but when they leans into that and understands what they are as a brand, it can be okay. The Hulu edition of Raw is always trimmed down in half and it works so much better as a show when broken down like this. Honestly, this wasn't trash but it was far from good. WWE deserves almost every bit of shit thrown at them, but it can occasionally still be fun when you turn your brain off and watch it like you would a stupid action flick. Consider it if you're bored or skip it completely and you'll be just as well off. There are far better, but there are far worse, too. A bit beauty/beast with the second half dipping a lot.
Overall Rating: 60/100%