We open with a video from last week's Raw. During the program, Bobby Lashley won a trio of matches to have himself added to the WWE Championship Match at Day 1. We see clips from the night, including KO's treacherous ways as well as Lashley's All Mighty ways. We cut to Milwaukee for tonight's program!
Corey Graves, Jimmy Smith, and the Living Legend--Byron Saxton--welcome us to Milwaukee's Fiserv Forum. MVP reminds the crowd that the All Mighty is in the building and demands they get on their feet and show some praise. He the recaps what Lashley pulled off last week--three matches, three wins--and the talent he did it against. Lashley had the strength, stamina and tenacity to defeat Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, and reigning WWE Champion Big E. MVP compares it to three big sports wins all in one night. MVP continues on rambling and ranting about demanding acknowledgement until, finally, WWE Heavyweight Champion Big E makes his way out to a big pop.
We start our program in an almighty way as Lashley and MVP make their way out, with Lashley wearing a leather or vinyl black jacket and sunshades. The crowd shows a mixed reaction--amid some "Bobby Trashley" signs--as the former champ makes his way down to the ring for this segment. "Hats off and cheese curds to you," Big E begins, as he mockingly praises Lashley for doing everything promised to turn the triple-threat championship match into a Fatal 4-Way. Something sticks in Big E's craw, and while admitting Lashley is dumb and has a lot of sisters--throwing back to the memorable segment over a year ago--but Big E is perplexed by Lashley's other actions, implying Lashley needed help. Lashley disputes this and Lashley asks MVP, "you did that on your own, didn't you? I didn't need your help to beat Seth Rollins, I didn't need your help to defeat Kevin Owens, and I didn't need your help with 'Little E' over here." Lashley threatens to take Big E out with a spear, then tells MVP that people now question if Lashley can't beat Big E on his own. Lashley reminds MVP of his words in the past, that if Lashley couldn't take out Big E then MVP would. Lashley accuses MVP of buying into his own hype, shockingly, and tells MVP that he should--in the spirit of competition--fight Lashley to see if it's true. Lashley exits the ring and states he'll stand right at ring side. He tells MVP to use the can MVP holds as Lashley grins on and Big E cautiously approaches MVP. MVP turns Big E's back to the ringside. Instead of the anticipated Lashley ambush, Rollins & Owens attack Lashley! They beat down the All Mighty before attacking the champion at ringside. Back in the ring goes the destructive duo and Owens holds Lashley for a Stomp attempt. Big E hits the ring to make the save and the two beefcakes clear house. Graves, Smith and Saxton point out that the enemy of one's enemy may not be your friend, but could be your ally.
In what's being billed as the "final chapter" of their "history feud," Belair is out first. We head to word from our sponsors before Dou drops on out for this match to overwhelming digital boos and a flat reaction from the Milwaukee crowd. Graves questions if Belair will pick up her third win in a row against Doudrop. The match is short and textbook, with Doudrop taking the early lead. Doudrop cements control with a spinebuster before a break. Upon returning, Dou continues to dominate--albeit briefly--until Belair begins to "hulk up." Belair showcases her raw strength as usual in woman-handling the larger powerhouse Doudrop. Dou continues to sell the heel turn, often punishing Belair with fists to her face for daring to kick out. Saxton explains Doudrop's heel turn as being due to jealousy over Belair, and Smith praises Doudrop's strength in throwing the former women's champion around for the bulk of their match, culminating with a sit-out powerbomb that fails to see Doudrop cover Belair for the win. As expected, Belair rallies after Doudrop spends too much time talking smack and picks up the win with a KOD, hoisting Doudrop up to a huge pop from the crowd as the EST of the WWE wakes everyone the hell up!
Your Winner, Bianca Belair!
After a pre-match promo and commercial break, we get to our second match. Theory is out second as our commentary staff praises the youngster's dexterity and ability. As soon as the bell rings, Bálor goes right after Theory and stomps him into the corner. Theory flees outside, drawing the experienced Bálor into a veteran trap. Theory ambushes Bálor at ringside and takes it back into the action, where both men jockey for control. Theory uses the ring as a weapon, chopping Bálor's neck across the ropes before bludgeoning Bálor with rights and lefts. Theory comes on aggressively, looking for pin attempts frequently while using working holds to focus on Bálor's neck. Bálor gets a little more offense in before Theory takes control firmly with a neckbreaker, leading us into another commercial break. When we return, Bálor looks to take control but Theory shuts him down temporarily with a rope-assisted neck strike (per Graves, a springboard inverted Spanish Fly--unique offensive maneuver to say the least). Theory messes up, looking for a selfie during a cover, and Bálor rolls Theory up for a close two. Bálor finally gets his offense in, using a Shotgun Dropkick to set up a Coup de Grace to pick up the win over the rookie.
Your Winner, Finn Bálor!
The Miz starts us off by pleading with Maryse to keep their relationship private and not do the Cutting Edge. He then welcomes Styles & Omos to Miz TV. Omos tosses his chair out instead of sitting. The Miz mentions that Styles and Omos seem to be not on the same page, and Styles takes a jab at the Miz and Maryse's marital strife. Styles states that when he and Omos are on the same page, they're unstoppable. Styles praises Omos' untapped potential and points out that Omos could be tag team champ all by himself. Style reiterates that he and Omos see eye to eye now and suggests he (Styles) and Omos go after all the titles on the red brand. The Miz informs Styles that he's heard from Omos--that Styles & Omos are not seeing eye-to-eye. Styles lashes out at the Miz, asking "what kind of man sticks his woman in harm's way" to a gasp from the audience. The Miz continues to state that Omos told him that Omos is sick and tired of carrying Styles, amongst other unpleasant comments. The giant Omos stands by, wrists crossed, as the Miz runs down the duo. The Miz asks AJ how long it took to get to WWE--"what, fifteen years?"--and states that Omos was begged to be signed by WWE management. The Miz claims Omos isn't the next Andre the Giant, he's the first Omos. Styles asks Omos if any of this is true, and the big man hoists his mic only to be interrupted by the Mysterios. We're going straight to a match, apparently.
We head to break, ending the awkward segment. This match is up next! After a break and a plug for Migos, we start with Style and Dom. Dom starts us off with a springboard arm drag. Styles immediately shuts the youngster down with a back breaker and the veteran starts to dismantle Dom. Styles with an abdominal stretch, reversed into a roll-up by Dom, is followed up with a Pele kick. Rey takes an early tag and battles with Styles alongside the ropes. Rey with a springboard Tornado DDT before a 6-1-9 lays out the Phenomenal One! Mysterio looks for a Guerrero Frog Splash but Styles get the knees up! Styles looks to tag Omos but the big man turns away from Styles, facing the camera. Rey rolls a distracted Styles up to pick up the win in under two minutes.
Your Winners, the Mysterios!
Styles calls Omos trash for refusing to tag in. Omos enters the ring and Styles wisely unloads on the giant. Styles keeps Omos at bay briefly until the giant plants Styles down with a hard slam. The giant stood over Styles, mic in hand, and told Styles "the next time you see me it will be a match...against you, trash (inaudible)." Omos leaves to his own music and a confused crowd.
Orton comes out alone as our commentary team points out that Orton's insisted he do this alone. The 14-time champ and current half of the men's Raw tag team champions, Randy Orton, makes his way out as we head to break. When we return, the Alpha Academy makes their way out together and the ref calls for the bell. Orton and Gable lock up, with Gable taking a brief, early lead using his technical skill set to put the Viper on the defensive. We're reminded that this is the first time the Legend Killer has taken on Shorty G. As usual, Gable impresses with his technical prowess. Gable transitions from hold to hold like liquid metal, expertly containing the multi-hyphenated Orton for much of the match, using arm drags and working holds to continue to contain the Viper. After a couple of minutes of this, Orton fights back and takes the lead when he catches Gable entering the ring with a boot tot eh face. Orton looks for the Spike DDT, only to have Gable escape and connect with a pair of German Suplexes. Gable looks for a third but Orton shuts it down with an RKO outta nowhere (where else?).
Your Winner, Randy Orton!
We cut to the locker room. MVP asks Lashley if they can trust Big E. Lashley strips out of his dapper outfit, preparing for his upcoming match, as he and MVP discuss Lashley's words earlier. MVP seeks validation from Lashley and asks if Lashley was kidding earlier. Lashley refuses to answer, instead asking for water as he needs to hydrate. MVP heads off to find something to drink for the former champ, disappointed with the non-answer.
Our United States Champion, the former Punishment Martinez, makes his way out ahead of this contendership match. If Ziggler defeats Priest, he'll earn the right to face Priest in a match. Makes sense, right? We head to break. When we return, the Dirty Dawgs are out and Ziggler's ready for his shot at a title shot. Priest starts off with a smidge of offense and drops Ziggler with a leaping back elbow. Priest looks for a leaping hip attack but Ziggler takes an early lead after a Famouser attempt turned into a Sunset Flip roll-up for a close two. Priest is caught on top of the top rope by Ziggler who executes a Superplex off the top to send us to a break. When we return, the champ takes the lead back briefly. Ziggler ultimately proves victorious after Roode lent a distracting hand, allowing Ziggler to win by count-out after Priest focuses solely on beating Roode outside the ring. After the count-out, Ziggler briefly attempted to attack Priest before leaving.
Your Winner by Count-out and NEW Number One Contender for the United States Championship, Dolph Ziggler!
As has been the trend as of lately, Vince meets backstage with Austin and, as has also been the trend as of late, Vince is damn near impossible to understand due to poor mic'ing and his deep voice. Theory apologizes for losing and Vince seems to consider firing Theory, pointing out that Vince enjoys firing people. Vince admits he especially enjoys firing people before the holidays as it leaves him feeling good. McMahon gives Theory a rematch next week to fight for his job. He tells Theory he didn't become a Ruthless Billionaire by making bad investments, and questions if he's making one with Theory. Theory reassures him and Vince tells him to prove it next week. Vince then erases a sheet of paper with a pencil eraser, blows the dust in Theory's face, and chants "ho ho ho ho." Yeah, I got no clue, brothers.
Edge welcomes Milwaukee--cheap pop--to the Cutting Edge. He starts by addressing that he and Maryse have a lot in common--they're both Canadian and they're both irked at Edge's Day 1 opponent, the Miz. He welcomes out Maryse. Maryse makes her way out to not much of a reaction and we get clips from last week, during which the Miz used Maryse as a human shield (and thus pissed off his wife, setting up tonight's Cutting Edge episode). Maryse starts us off by telling Edge that she's not here to be his friend, she's just here for the platform. Edge asks her if she can't get on Miz TV, and Maryse states she can't--the Miz won't let her speak. Edge realizes that this is now suddenly a therapy session, but lets Maryse talk. Maryse tells us that she's a human being who deserves to be respected, and she tells Michael Cole she wants a big thank you after fifteen years of doing everything--taking care of the house, the kids, the cooking and cleaning, the show...she does every single thing, in her opinion, and is exhausted. Edge remains silent, letting her talk. Maryse addresses last week, stating that Edge could've hurt her really badly but he didn't. And as the mom of a two year old (Madison) and three-and-a-half (Monroe), she has to wonder who will take care of her kids if something happens to her. The crowd is dead for all this, even the digital crowd. A few boos as Maryse milks time for fake tears that won't come. Maryse asks Edge if he'd ever have done this to his wife, Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix, to which Edge has to apologize--"I'm sorry your life is some sort of horrible country song. What's going to happen, you're going to lose your dog (and your pickup truck) too?" He accuses her of acting to a few boos, and states that Maryse is out here to distract him so the Miz can jump him. Edge continues to babble on, accusing Maryse of being fake. Edge answers Maryse, stating he respects his wife too much to do this to her. Edge keeps goading until the Miz makes his way out and attempts to ambush Edge. Edge has it scouted and fights off the Miz until Maryse attacks him. The Miz hits a Skull-Crushing Finale on Edge, and somewhat "stutters" the move. Not exactly a botch but odd. We end the segment with Maryse and the Miz embracing as, expected, their trickery worked.
We're informed that Nikki A.S.H. and Carmella are banned from ringside tonight. Ripley is out first to a moderate reaction, and Vega comes out with her royal accent as she addresses her "dairy-loving" subjects here in Milwaukee. Zelina has the heel queen gimmick down pat, gotta love it. Finally we get to the match. Ripley, ever the powerhouse, looks to take control early on through sheer strength. Vega uses her agility, escaping a bomb, locking in an attempted modified sleeper and transitioning to an arm attack. Ripley takes the lead back early with a big boot before propping WWE's third queen on the top. Ripley again showcases her power as she looks for a middle-rope Superplex. Vega wiggles free, taking down Ripley as she does so, and looks for an early pin attempt after a "Tiger's Knee" (running knee strike that reminded Graves of a Street Fighter move, hence the name). The match is short as Ripley follows it up with a Riptide and picks up the win in short and dominant fashion. Just like Vega.
Your Winner, Rhea Ripley!
Big E and Lashley briefly interact. Lashley reminds Big E that he doesn't need MVP or his cane to beat Big E, and Big E tells Lashley to leave MVP backstage.
Morgan makes her way out in pretty orange street clothes (looks like someone crocheted an outfit on her). We head to a break before hearing from the platinum vixen. When we return, Morgan addresses Lynch and the WWE Universe. Lynch has a kendo stick in hand and we're shown clips of Morgan challenging Lynch to a second title shot this time at the upcoming Day 1 pay-per-view event that's only 12 days away. Morgan accuses "good old Rebecca" of trying to injure her ahead of their Day 1 match. Morgan calls Seth Rollins Becky's "try-hard husband in Iowa" (or was it Ohio?). Morgan addresses footage that aired on social media over the weekend, and calls for it to be brought up on the tron. In it, we see Lynch training in a ring surrounded by young talent. Morgan positions behind an unsuspecting Lynch and uses a kendo stick to attack the champ. The onlookers gasp--and Morgan realizes it's not Becky Lynch, whose face was obscured by wild red hair! Lynch shows up behind Morgan and attacks her. The two struggle over the kendo stick until Morgan gains the upper hand and chases off Lynch by striking her repeatedly with the stick. Lynch encourages the trainees to "get her" repeatedly, then yells for Morgan to never come back again. We cut to the ring where Morgan admits that Lynch was a step ahead of her--but also that "she is so threatened by me that she had one of her students disguise (as Lynch) because she knew I'd be coming for payback." Morgan feels regret for beating up an innocent woman, but it made her very happy when she thought it was Becky she was beating.
Morgan admits to knowing it won't be a fair fight at Day 1, and Becky will fight dirty, but Morgan plans on winning and giving Lynch all the time in the world to "hang out with your baby and your hot husband." Morgan then threatens to break Lynch's face--and out comes Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch! Lynch, decked in furs, responds to Morgan's "senseless" attack on the "poor girl." Lynch then adds you have to crack a few eggs to make an omelet, and her students understand in this industry that you have to pay your dues. Becs goes on to gloat that when you're big time, you don't have time to be down, and Morgan's kendo attack didn't leave Lynch down. The two exchange more bitter words before ending the segment.
Big E is out first as we head to break ahead of our main event. Afterwards, Lashley, Rollins and Owens all make their way out. Lashley starts off with Rollins and the two take the action outside, where Lashley runs over Rollins and sends us immediately to another break. Upon returning, Lashley holds Rollins up in a lengthy stalling brainbuster suplex. Owens takes the tag in and takes the lead for his team, grounding Lashley with an inverted headlock. The crowd lightly chants for Lashley. Owens mocks Big E, drawing the champ in and causing a ref-break distraction. Rollins tags in and Owens & Rollins hit a double-team suplex on Lashley. Rollins covers, garnering a one, before transitioning to a sleeper headlock. Graves compliments the crowd, stating "we're alive in Milwaukee" as the mostly-dead crowd barely chants for Bobby again. Owens and Big E clash when E gets the hot tag. Big E drops Owens with multiple belly-to-belly suplexes. Big E looks for a Big Splash but Rollins interferes. Rollins is sent outside and Big E hits a big side slam for a close cover. Owens makes a tag to Rollins, who takes out the champ with a diving attack. Owens tags in and follows Rollins, diving off the top and hitting a Swanton bomb for a close cover. Owens screams in frustration as we head to our final break of the night. When we return, the match wraps up rather quickly as Lashley uses a quick spear to cut Owens practically in half and pick up the win.
Your Winners, WWE Champion Big E and Bobby Lashley!
Rollins and Owens quickly work together to attack Lashley and Big E. They use steel steps as a battering ram as they do their best to take out Big E and Lashley ahead of their Fatal 4-Way a week from Saturday. Owens and Rollins work in tandem, executing a double-team apron powerbomb. Owens holds Lashley bent over the steel steps and yells for Rollins to attack. Rollins backs off...then grins and hits the Stomp on Lashley, his face over the steel steps! The crowd wakes up long enough to boo Rollins and Owens as the duo shake hands in the ring. Both men wearily watch each other, untrusting, before the two hug it out. Owens and Rollins hold hands up in the air as Big E and Lashley are shown down at ringside, hurting, and we fade to black as the crowd--finally fully awake--washes them out in boos.
And that does it for tonight's program! Thank you all for stopping by, and we hope to see you here tomorrow night for the top 2.0 wrestling in the world today--NXT 2.0. Have a great night and stay safe (and warm!) out there.