Match Ratings For WWE Raw 1/14/19, Podcast Notes From Sean Ross Sapp Of Fightful.com

Braun crush

  • Braun Strowman says he's healed up and good to go for Royal Rumble. He calls Brock "Beastie Boy" again.
  • Baron Corbin comes out and boringly trolls Braun. Braun chases Corbin to the back and a Singh Brother ends up getting thrown over a table.
  • Elias is singing backstage and tells Braun that Corbin is hiding in a limo.
  • Braun pulls a driver out of the limo and throws him around, then breaks a window and rips a limo door off its hinges. Baron runs away.
  • It's Vince McMahon's limo. He's not happy about this. 
  • I look forward to seeing behind the scenes footage of this Braun Strowman & Vince McMahon segment on WWE Network in a few years. Braun is trying to put the door back on the limo. Good comedy.
  • They come back from commercial and Vince fines Braun Strowman $100,000 and takes away his title match with Brock Lesnar.
  • Solid segment for a curious situation.
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Sasha Banks & Ronda Rousey defeated Tamina & Nia Jax
5.25/10

  • “She’s looked forward to being stabbed in the back by her for several years now"- Graves' line on Rousey/Banks.
  • Nia Jax not going with the lucha arm drag was a good move.
  • Sasha Banks applies a rear naked choke, but gets thrown off of Nia Jax's back. A bulldog off the second rope hits. 
  • Rousey and Tamina are tagged in and Rousey quickly rolls into an armbar position.
  • After a break, Sasha is flattened by a Nia Jax powerbomb, but causes Tamina to run into Nia.
  • Sasha taps out Tamina with a Banks Statement.
  • Rousey says after the match that beating Sasha would be her top accomplishment in her pro wrestling.
  • Banks isn't happy about being treated like a foregone conclusion. She can tap people out and will teach Rousey how to lose with class.
  • Rousey tells Sasha to keep the tag of Worlds Classiest Loser because she doesn't want it. 
  • Sasha Banks goes off on Rousey in one of her best promos ever.
  • Rousey and Sasha are being kept apart by Bayley and Natalya, who blame each other's partner. Riott Squad show up and make a challenge for later tonight.

 

The Revival defeated Lucha House Party (w/ Lince Dorado)
5.5/10

  • The Revival says there's a price to pay for last week.
  • Kalisto scores his quadruple jump arm drag, but gets dropkicked out of inverted atomic drop.
  • There are a bunch of inset promos about Brock Lesnar in this match. They're going fast and furious int he ring.
  • Dawson scores a DDT pin, but Metalik had his foot on the ropes. Wilder threw it off the bottom rope.

Vince and stuff

  • Everyone is lined up for an opportunity at Vince McMahon's office door and Jerry Lawler comes out of the room to a big pop. No Way Jose dances through.
  • Apollo Crews cuts a really lame, fake promo about facing Brock Lesnar. Curt Hawkins, EC3, B-Team, Heath Slater & Rhyno all interrupt. 
  • Vince McMahon comes to the ring and is interrupted by John Cena.
  • Cena says when Brock left for the NFL John Cena stepped up when he was given a chance. He's asking for another chance. 
  • Drew McIntyre isn't having it. He says Cena's time is up, and his time is now and Cena can leave. 
  • Baron Corbin is next out. He does the Baron thing.
  • Finn Balor comes out and he says he knows Vince McMahon has never believed in him, so he'll just show him. He attacks Baron.
  • McIntyre stands tall to end the segment. Vince makes a fatal four way to determine Brock's opponent tonight.
  • Vince announces a fatal four way tonight to determine Brock's opponent (the latter announced by Cole.) Then Jinder Mahal shows up and wants to fight Balor, and if he wins he replaces Balor at the Royal Rumble for a match Balor hasn't qualified for?!

Bayley, Nikki Cross & Natalya defeated Riott Squad
5.5/10

  • Nikki Cross is the mystery partner. The callups aren't brand exclusive because they had no goddamn clue what to do with them. 
  • Cross ties up Ruby in the apron and beats her.
  • Back from a commercial, and Bayley is getting beaten up by Sarah Logan until a hot tag to Natalya.
  • Natalya gets a German suplex and an inverted powerbomb that ends in a half hearted pin break by Ruby Riott. 
  • Liv got a nice huracanrana and pinned with all her weight on Natalya, but Nikki broke it up. Together with Natayla, they get a Hart Attack. 
  • There's no heat for this, but Nikki is trying as she body presses Riott off the apron.
  • Bayley tags in and gets the win with a flying elbow drop. 
  • Lacey Evans was seen backstage after the match.

For A Spot In RAW main event
Finn Balor defeated Jinder Mahal (w/ Singh. Bros)
4.75/10

  • Jinder and the Singhs attack Balor before the match. Guess you gotta make it seem like Mahal stands a chance somehow.
  • Jinder cracks Balor with a big boot and tries to pin him. We then get a solid six minutes of nothing because of a commercial and a rest hold. 
  • It's 9:44 PM EST and I thought to myself "I need more CHINLOCK."
  • Balor lands a kick, tope con hilo and a Coup De Grace.
  • Neat way to add stakes and get some worth out of Mahal, but this stunk.

WWE Intercontinental Championship
Bobby Lashley (w/ Lio Rush) defeated Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose (c) to become champion
5.75/10

  • Dean Ambrose cuts a really shitty promo about Memphis. Lio Rush cuts a good promo to no one's surprise, and Rollins' is rather uninspired. 
  • Ambrose tries to work with Rollins, but Rollins isn't having it. Ambrose and Lashley work on Rollins instead.
  • No heat, no excitement from the commentary. Nothing in this one. 
  • Finally Lashley does an enormous slam to Rollins that wakes up the crowd. Rollins is immediately up and suicide diving both opponents, though. This has been a recurring theme that takes me out of Rollins matches.
  • Lio Rush distracts Rollins and leads to him eating a spinebuster outside.
  • Back from the break, Lashley is frog splashed in amazing fashion by Rollins, but Ambrose tries to steal the pin.
  • Funky looking Doomsday Device spot where Rollins doesn't sell it and misses Lashley with a superkick that is sold anyway. 
  • Lashley spears Ambrose and gets the win. The flip with the spear never made sense to me. 
  • Cool. Good for Lashley.

Moment Of Bliss

  • A stagehand walks in on Alexa Bliss getting dressed backstage. Aight. 
  • Excited for Raw to get their bounce back viewership since there's no football tonight and having people credit the Alexa Bliss backstage moment as why.
  • Alexa reveals the women's tag team title match at Elimination Chamber and the title belts. Sweet!
  • Paul Heyman interrupts. Alexa Bliss is really good at hosting this segment. 
  • There isn't really much said until Otis comes out drooling over Alexa and Tucker Knight drags him away.
  • John Cena embraces Finn Balor and says he believes in Balor in two weeks.

 

Top Contender Match
Finn Balor defeated John Cena, Baron Corbin and Drew McIntyre
6.5/10

  • Balor gets caught off the top rope with a big backbreaker from Corbin right off the bat. 
  • Corbin is planted off a Cena Tornado DDT back from the break. Five moves of Doom on McIntyre is next, but Corbin breaks the pin.
  • Cena and Balor double suplex Corbin.
  • Corbin ends up on the top rope with Drew and gets Tossplexed. 
  • Balor walks into an End of Days, Cena flies into a Drew McIntyre falling powerbomb.
  • Balor ends up getting Super AA'd off the second rope, but Balor throws Cena out to steal the pin.
  • Corbin grabs a steel chair, but Cena AA's him. Claymore on Cena, DDT from Balor on Drew.
  • Balor pins Cena with Coup De Grace! Balor vs. Brock at the Rumble. 

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. Don't take them too seriously, and have (and share) your own!

 

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