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WWE Monday Night RAW: 1/3/2022

Monday nights for WWE are very extraordinary to say the least. Sometimes, Raw does feel like a must watch show; whether if it’s for a specific match or a promo segment. We eat it up and tune in to see what happens and last night was no exception; however the execution seemed wonky. Sit back and relax, fellow reader as we dive in to the first WWE Monday Night Raw of 2022!

Opening segment: New WWE Champion Brock Lesnar.. and his advocate Paul Heyman??

After his dominant performance at the Day 1 payperview, the new WWE champion kicked off the show to address the crowd of South Carolina about what happened at Saturday’s show, however Lesnar wasn’t alone since Paul Heyman introduced the Beast Incarnate by introducing him with the classic “REIGNING, DEFENDING, UNDISPUTED WWE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD!” line that always gives you goosebumps. Brock comes out smiling with his title and happy that he has his advocate back; though Lesnar thought it would be fitting to send a message to SmackDown’s Universal champion, Roman Reigns. As Roman would tell the city/state of wherever the show is taking place, Lesnar told the people of South Carolina to acknowledge him. Heyman, as the perfect mouthpiece that he is, then talked about who should get the opportunity to face Lesnar at the Royal Rumble payperview. A fatal four way was announced: Kevin Owens, former champion Big E, Seth Rollins and Bobby Lashley; winner gets Lesnar at the Rumble. And it was obvious who both Heyman and Lesnar wanted; the All Mighty Bobby Lashley. Both Lesnar and Lashley are very similar athletes and both men have had their lists of accomplishments in the world of professional wrestling, though there was never a one on one match between the two. Day 1 was the first and only time the two men ever met in the ring, so the hype was firmly set that from the get go Lashley would be the odds on favorite.

Match 1: RK-Bro vs Alpha Academy. (Rating: 2.5/5)

Alpha Academy is another one of those teams that have two dudes that are polar opposites yet somehow work very well together. Chad Gable is without a doubt the best pure wrestler WWE has. He gives off young Attitude Era Kurt Angle vibes yet works better as a tag team wrestler like SmackDown’s World’s Greatest Tag Team; Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas. Otis on the other hand, I feel like can work really better as a solos guy, especially now that he’s a heel. However I love him and Gable as a tag team, and it looks like they’re on their way to become the next Raw tag team champions. As much as I LOVE Riddle and Orton as a tag team, a downside to the pair is sometimes WWE like to portray as Randy being the better of the two whilst Riddle is the weak link. Example; if Randy gets tagged in after Riddle took endless and endless amount of damage, Randy wins the match for the team while Riddle just sits back in the corner. Personally, WWE shouldn’t book this sometimes because it makes Riddle looks weak; which is crazy because I’d ofter prefer Matt Riddle matches over some of Randy’s. Anyways, this match was pretty okay. Nothing too crazy, Otis pinned Riddle after Gable made sure Randy wasn’t going to break up the winning pin.

Match 2: Mixed Tag for the 24/7 Championship: Dana Brooke (c) and Reginald vs Tamina and Akira Tozawa (Rating: 1/5)

24/7 championship segments are usually fun and rarely the matches are also pretty solid at best, however something about this match just makes me more uninterested in Dana Brooke as champion. Reginald pinned Tozawa to help Brooke retain her title. Honestly the belt just works better with either Reginald or R-Truth, heck it even worked on the commentary team (mainly Byron Saxton and Corey Graves) due to how out of nowhere the title changes seemed. Brooke’s was good but Kelly Kelly had already done it sometime last year during WWE’s pandemic either. Sure it didn’t last long but it was a cool moment, but with Dana it just doesn’t work since I believe she could do a lot more.

Segment 2: Becky’s next challenger

Now it’s time for Big Time Becks to find a new challenger! Who would be given this chance to face Lynch at (possibly?) the Royal Rumble? Well, three women placed their bets: first is former SmackDown Bianca Belair. Belair won the blue brand’s women’s title during the main event of last year’s night one of WrestleMania in a classic bout against the Boss, Sasha Banks. Belair went on and held the championship for roughly about 4 months up until she dropped it to a surprise return at SummerSlam from current Raw’s champion, Becky Lynch. Both women had classics against one another, even led up to a triple threat match at Saudi Arabia’s Crown Jewel with Sasha Banks in the mix. Next was Liv Morgan; although Becky won their first match via heel shenanigans, Lynch retained at Day 1 cleanly. It seemed rather forced, to me anyways, because had Lynch won in a dirty way again then the third time would’ve been the charm and have Liv get her moment. I can’t complain though, Liv and Becky have better chemistry than Belair and Lynch (in my eyes though). Now the third woman came out of left field because she placed her cards on the table in a backstage segment later on in the show; but Doudrop wants a shot for the title. Regardless of how ridiculous the name still is, Doudrop I believe should be given the shot because she’d be much more of an intimidating champion than Becky is; especially with a woman of her size. It’d give off a reign like Awesome Kong or Nia Jax, however the downside would be the match quality. If I had to choose between these three, I’d pick Morgan because of how she’s been booked recently, though I wouldn’t be unsatisfied if Doudrop ACTUALLY somehow gets the title opportunity.

Match 3: Raw Women’s Tag Team title match: Rhea Ripley and Nikki ASH vs Carmella (c) and Queen Zelina (c). (Rating: 1/5)

These titles should just retire to be honest. Nikki and Rhea as a team still works and I have started to come around and enjoy what Carmella and Vega bring to the table as champions, but the women’s tag titles just don’t feel important. With the lack of women tag teams, there really shouldn’t be a secondary women’s championship on either Raw or SmackDown. It’s no disrespect to the women but the concept itself just doesn’t work anymore. Vega pinned Nikki ASH to retain the titles, hopefully this marks the end of either the feud or Nikki and Rhea as a team.

Match 4: Street Profits vs Apollo Crews and Azeez (Rating: 2/5)

This was okay, nothing too special. The Profits are always entertaining to watch, and Apollo is always fun to see compete as well but his team with his commander Azeez just seems like a watered down AJ Styles and Omos. It isn’t a bad thing whatsoever yet the chemistry these two men have together just doesn’t work well with me. Hopefully throughout this year they improve or have a stint as tag champions.

Match 5: United States Championship Match; Damian Priest (c) vs Dolph Ziggler. (Rating: 3.5/5)

It’s this match and the main event that honestly helped save Raw for me. Damian Priest has had quite the run ever since he was called up from NXT. From competing in a tag team classic against John Morrison and The Miz with Spanish rapper Bad Bunny as his tag team partner to becoming United States champion and continuously putting on classic matches with Sheamus and Jeff Hardy, Priest has been booked solidly. Best part as well is that Priest has yet to be pinned or submitted. He’s only lost matches via disqualification or count out because he’d unleash his “Damian” side, pretty much meaning he destroys people and acts very vicious while doing so. The best false finish without a doubt had to be when Ziggler hit the Zig Zag on Priest while Priest was being distracted by Dolph’s Dirty Dog tag partner Robert Roode. Amazing match, it was about time Priest put on a classic with the Showoff. Can’t wait to see who steps up next!

Match 6: AJ Styles vs Omos. (Rating: 3/5)

AJ made Omos look like a million bucks. This was a high caliber squash match, and Omos looked really dominant tossing Styles around like a rag doll. I loved the tag team of Omos and AJ. They really managed to accomplish quite a lot in a short amount of time in 2021, and although it felt bittersweet to break the two up I’m more than ready to not only see a solo AJ Styles run one last time before he’s supposed to call it quits after this current WWE contract, but to also see what WWE has in store for Omos. He really needs to be protected at all costs; build him up to become the modern day equivalent of Andre the Giant.

Main Event: Fatal Four Way Number 1 contender’s match; Kevin Owens vs Seth Rollins vs Big E vs Bobby Lashley (Rating: 4/5)

The match we were originally going to get at Day 1 before the inclusion of a certain beast. It was basically the same match as Saturday but more in the favor of the All Mighty. Spear after spear after spear, even after being put through a table and suffering the most damage in the match; Lashley dominated his competition and FINALLY after what seemed like an eternity, the dream match between Lesnar and Lashley will happen at the Royal Rumble!

Show rating: 3/5

credit from: f4wonline