With WWE Champion Drew McIntyre sidelined for a second week after a positive diagnosis of COVID-19, WWE has once again turned to Randy Orton and Alexa Bliss for a story-heavy mission in Raw. For fans expecting MacIntyre to return and the continuation of his story with Goldberg, both men will appear next week on Raw go-home before the Royal Rumble.
As for Orton and Bliss, both were dealing in their own way with the Bliss fallout after she finished off Raw last week by shooting a fireball in Orton’s face. Orton now wears a burn mask and claims to be disfigured in the attack, all while claiming to dominate and win the Rumble on January 31.
However, Bliss appears to have been pulled deeper into the dark after Orton’s burning. On Monday, it was Asuka who felt Bliss’s wrath, as he lost his confrontation in the main event after Bliss switched midway through the match.
CBS Sports has been with you all night, bringing you highlights and highlights. Read on to find out everything you need to know when exiting ThunderDome.
Orton and Bliss continue the saga of the fire
Orton opened the show with a promotion in a darkroom, wearing a mask all over his face. He said that the noises in his head were never louder than they had been since Alexa Bliss was burned by a fireball. He said Bliss stopped redirecting the anger he was feeling toward himself because he showed compassion by not setting her on fire. Orton also said he blames The Fiend, not Bliss, for what happened to him. However, Orton said his “sickening suffering” would not get him out of the Royal Rumble match and vowed that he would burn everyone’s dreams in the match.
Bliss hosted Asuka at Alexa Stadium, talking over and over to the empty seat on the swing set. Bliss announced the Royal Rumble and became progressively more angry when he said increasingly nervous Asuka or did anything in order to enjoy “the fun.” These “insults” included Asuka trying to throw a dance party, saying “yowie wowie” and trying to sit in the empty seat.
Alexa Bliss def. Asuka via installation After hitting Sister Abigail. Bliss smiles when Asuka gets involved in an impact attack, but it only takes minutes before the lights go out in ThunderDome and the show spills over into a commercial. When the show resumed, Bliss “turned”, standing in the middle of the ring and showing no emotion as Asuka rolled around. Bliss repeatedly clogged and sagged under Asuka’s blows with ease before posing for the canvas with a shoulder mass. Asuka hits the knee, and sends Bliss into the corner, only for Bliss to make a Bray White aft bridge while carrying the ropes. Bliss attempted to lock down the mandibular claw but was hit by a series of blows from Asuka. Bliss manages to capture Asuka and beat Sister Abigail for victory. Before the show began in the air, the camera flashed and Bliss turned back and mouth, “Let me in,” as the voice of the villain played on the field.
The whole angle in which Orton and Bliss Wyatt appear is in the “love or hate” zone. For some, the beats will hit much more than that. For others, the supernatural angle would be missing. The match between Bliss and Asuka was strong and entertaining enough as Bliss showed a more complete “evil-like” shift in physicality and behaviors. The real fault of that night was Orton’s promo, as he appeared disfigured from a fireball last week after WWE “reports” he had suffered “minor” or “first degree” burns. Angle continues to pull Orton away from the things that made him arguably the best wrestler in the world of 2020. Hits and misses. Love it or hate it. Grade: c
What else happened in WWE Raw?
Charlotte Flair was defeated. Peyton Royce by Submission With the eighth figure. Ric Flair arrived on the block with Lacey Evans, who said their “relationship” only included learning her from the best wrestler ever and they would have seen Royce vs. Flair together. The pair walked out during the match with Evans in one of Rick’s clothes. While the distraction nearly cost Flair the victory, she returned to score the surrender, refusing to break the suspension long after the match. Later in the night, Charlotte said it was time to use the lessons she learned from “the dirtiest player in the game”.
The Hurt Business def. Lucha House Party & Riddle via presentation When Bobby Lashley put Gran Metalik in the Hurt Lock. Riddle ran Hurt Business behind the scenes. Everyone exchanged insults until Lashley stepped on Riddle’s sandal-clad feet. Hurt Business’s internal problems continued with Cedric Alexander trying to steal the spotlight during the match until an angry Lashley tagged himself in Gran Metalik and finished off with Gran Metalik. After the match, Riddle hit Lashley with a cheap shot before running away.
Def wand. Xavier Woods cross-installation After a quick hit on the sidewalk. Mustafa Ali said the group wanted to break Kofi Kingston’s soul by breaking Woods. Distraction and retribution led to the end.
China Baszler defeated. Mandy Rose via submission With Kerevoda clutch. Prior to the match, Päsler warned everyone at Royal Rumble that it was coming for them, including tag team partner Nia Jax. After the match, Dana invited Brooke Jax to Päsler, and she sent the duo to the center of the ring.
Styles AJ def. Bounce back through fixation After hitting Styles Clash. Adam Pierce told Ricochet that a win against Styles would go a “long way” toward giving him a chance at the Royal Rumble. For the second week in a row, Styles shatters dreams, catching Ricochet jumping from the ropes straight into Styles Clash for the win.
The Miz and John Morrison hosted The Dirt Sheet. After Goldberg was announced to appear in the first part of the show, The Dirt Sheet began with Miz and Morrison to present only former world champion to direct Gillberg (61-year-old Duane Gill). The clip was subsequently cut by actor David Kromholtz with a partially exposed butt and small sword pretending to be Drew MacIntyre. This led to Miz announcing that both Goldberg and McIntyre would lose at the Royal Rumble as he would spend his money in bank contract at the event and win the WWE Championship.
Drew MacIntyre cut a brief presentation from his home. MacIntyre, who remains in quarantine after being diagnosed with COVID-19, said he will return to Raw next week and has encouraged Goldberg to come and meet him there.
Jeff Hardy was defeated. Jaxson Ryker by disqualification When Elias enters the match. Similar to last week, Ryker and Elias weren’t on the same page as to what “no help” meant, but this time Ryker honestly didn’t want Elias to just help Elias with interfering and causing a DQ. Hardy attempted to attack after the match, but Riker hit him with a Bosman Slam.