Match Ratings For 1/4/21 WWE Raw From Sean Ross Sapp

HOGAN PHONE

There's this really weird HOGAN PHONE segment. They left a cliffhanger of "did this person get burned alive and murdered?" and went with this as the start.

Mixed Tag Match Set For 6/25 WWE SmackDown

New Day defeated Miz & Morrison
6/10

New Day come out and say they're doing New Day Talks instead of Miz TV. They're making a joke of the segment. The Teddy Long segment was fantastic, as Adam Pearce has to correct him when he tries to make a match for the Undertaker. It was a tag team match, instead

This was a good match that ended up eating up about 25 minutes worth of TV time between the build up and the match. Xavier getting the win with a Shining Wizard was a nice touch and adds some unpredictability to matches. WWE is back to doing the thing where they have the Money in the Bank winner lose virtually everything else. You know, the way you make people care about an eventual champion or challenger. The match was enjoyable, and they need supplemental stuff within the division to help prop up the rest of it.

WWE 24/7 Title
R-Truth defeated Angel Garza to win

Angel Garza runs into Alicia Fox, Mickie James, Tatanka, and Sgt. Slaughter backstage. I really hope this isn't WWE's smooth way of saying Mickie James isn't on the active roster anymore, because they did that with Alicia Fox. She'd finished up and they had her appear as a "legend." Garza tries to hit on Torrie Wilson, too. She directs him to The Boogeyman instead. R-Truth rolls up a scared Garza and Faarooq hits the DAMN.

AJ Styles (w/ Omos) defeated Elias (w/ Jaxson Ryker)
5.5/10

This is an okay match, and I appreciate the short-term build to this. WWE traditionally goes a babyface-heel route, so it seems like they're positioning AJ for a babyface spot. Styles wins with a Styles Clash, which is nice to see. A good, clean end. It just has to continue though. Jaxson Ryker tries to hit AJ Styles with a guitar and Omos KICKS IT.

Peyton Royce & Lacey Evans defeated Charlotte Flair & Asuka (w/ Ric Flair)
4/10

Ric Flair brings Charlotte out to the ring, and ends up getting seduced by Lacey Evans, who catches a mean ass whipping for that. Lacey and Peyton have gotten better as a team. Ric Flair ends up tripping Charlotte Flair on accident and Royce gets the pin. Charlotte Flair couldn't take a pin to drop the NXT Title but they can have her lose on LEGENDS night to Peyton Royce. So much for that clean win streak. I wondered how long it would be before Charlotte made Ric Flair cry. The answer was ten minutes. They've now 50/50'd what little feud exists here. This match also featured maybe the worst Natural Selection in history, it was a rough one.

Riddle defeated Bobby Lashley (w/ MVP)
5.75/10

Had to know they couldn't just.....do Riddle vs. Lashley for the title on the PPV. They have to set it up with a non-title match. We've now hit "if this were the Royal Rumble match, he'd be eliminated" territory. I love it. I also love this ring post spot Lashley's been doing over the last year. These two really don't mind to knock the shit out of one another. Lashley connects with a Dominator, which looks even more devastating on someone without boots. Riddle taps to the Hurt Lock, but the referee didn't see it. This allows Riddle to roll up Lashley in a soft looking pin. This is their way to get to a second match, and it makes sense. Champions losing back-to-back matches though, not keen on it.

Dana Brooke defeated Shayna Baszler
SQUASH

Shayna Baszler attacks Mandy Rose, and Dana Brooke shows up to compete in her place in leather pants and platforms. Baszler chokes Dana Brooke but gets pinned. When the characters don't care if they win or lose, why should we? Mandy helps attack Shayna after she holds on to the choke after the bell.

Randy Orton defeated Jeff Hardy
5.75/10

It took them a half hour to even mention "no, this person wasn't burned alive." Orton tries to goad Big Show into attacking him backstage. I guess he's gonna try to set him on fire. Randy Orton has added his name to the 2021 Royal Rumble and trolls Mark Henry over it. He calls Flair a pathetic old man. Why didn't IRS say anything to Orton about BURNING HIS KID ALIVE!?

I don't think I'll ever get tired of seeing Orton violently Singh Bomb fools on the announcer's table. They go for a good amount of time in what would probably qualify as a PPV level match between the two. Orton even goes back to the ears of Jeff Hardy at one point. An RKO out of the Twist of Fate wins it for Orton.

Lucha House Party defeated The Hurt Business (w/ MVP)
4.5/10

Lucha House Party talk to Melina backstage, but they don't have her there at ringside. Within the context of WWE kayfabe....what were these legends booked to do? Three champions lost non-title matches tonight on Raw. Yep! They have a pape to build to. The pin was even longer because the ref took his sweet time getting down there. MVP says they need to get on the same page. Cedric walks away. Ah, the tag champions that can't get along.

WWE Championship
Drew McIntyre (c) defeated Keith Lee to retain the title
8/10

There was a really, really horrible Hogan interaction with Drew McIntyre before the title match. Hogan says brother a lot and that Drew reminds him of him. They pose a lot. Okay, man. Riddle gives Keith Lee a pep talk. All of the legends are on the stage watching the main event like Shao Khan.

Keith Lee is dominant early on, pouncing Drew over the barricade. About 15 minutes in, Drew McIntyre hits a sick powerbomb through the announcer's table. OH MY GOD THAT SPANISH FLY! ADAM PEARCE HAD TO TEACH KEITH LEE THAT SPANISH FLY!!!!

Drew McIntyre gets out of the Spirit Bomb and hits Lee with the Claymore for the win. Keith Lee vs. Drew McIntyre was a certified HUMPER. Great match, clean win. I love it.

Bill Fucking Goldberg comes out and picks a fight with his own imagination. He says that Drew doesn't respect legends and challenges Drew at the Rumble. Drew says that'd be like facing his dad, and gets shoved down.

Rating Guide
10- Perfect, 9- MOTY Territory, 8- Excellent, 7- Great, 6- Good, 5- Average to above average, 4- Slightly below average, 3 or below: Poor

Each match starts at a 5 and slides up and down based on entertainment, execution, time, environment, reaction and stakes. The ratings are in no way an indication of a "star rating," which is a completely different system. A standard, non-offensive "TV match" lands at a 5. The gap between 5.75-6 is generally the largest, with anything reaching 6 being recommended viewing.
These are opinions, and incredibly inconsistent ones that may change upon a second viewing, or sitting on the match for a period of time. Don't take them too seriously, and have (and share) your own!

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