Match Ratings For WWE Raw 1/21/19, Podcast Notes From Sean Ross Sapp Of Fightful.com

Opening segment

  • Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman make their way out to the ring.
  • Heyman cuts a good promo where he says that Finn Balor beat John Cena and two others clean last week, but still doesn't belong in the same ring as Brock Lesnar.
  • Good ol' crowd pleasing, giving the fans what they want, show changing Vince McMahon is out to cut a "you people" promo on how dumb fans are and how hillbilly the audience is.
  • Braun Strowman comes out. We hear "get these hands" chants. He says he'll be waiting for the winner of the Rumble title match and blames Baron Corbin for his bad day.
  • Finn Balor comes out and addresses a very awkward Vince McMahon. Even Vince in his delivery is lazy.  There was a comparison to David and Goliath, and Heyman joked that he doesn't read the bible. 
  • Vince McMahon has a very "let's get this over with" demeanor any time he's on a microphone these days.
  • Vince announces Balor vs. Braun for RIGHT NOW.
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Finn Balor defeated Braun Strowman via DQ
5.75/10

  • Braun counters a Slingblade with a good ol' club to the chest.
  • This is really elementary work, but it goes well for these two. Braun delivers it well, and Finn sells it really well.
  • Little things like a squisher go a long way.
  • Balor gets a Slingblade outside and a sleeper inside.
  • Balor gets caught outside by a Brock belly-to-belly suplex when Braun throws him off the top rope, which isn't a DQ for some reason. Huh? 
  • Finn yanks Brock off the apron and dropkicks him. Very good spot. Brock Lesnar did his best to save Balor on that tope con hilo.
  • Balor lands a Coup De Grace to a guy who just had his elbow ripped apart in the last couple months. 
  • Brock comes in and hits an F5, which THEN gets a DQ on Balor. That DQ didn't make any sense after what we saw earlier.

MOST MUSCULAR POSE

  • Lio Rush says Bobby Lashley fights for the money. 
  • Lashley gets on a podium and puts the title around Lashley's waist.
  • Apollo Crews comes out and challenges Lashley to a non-title match. Lio wants a pose-off first.
  • Apollo says he doesn't know how to pose, and Lio says he doesn't know how to be a champ. 
  • Crews gets a pretty solid reaction for posing. The crowd is giving Apollo the best reaction of his career for dance moves into poses.
  • Renee Young is impressed with Lashley.
  • Lashley gets jealous and attacks, but Apollo takes control and tosses Lio onto him.

Bobby Lashley (w/ Lio Rush) defeated Apollo Crews
5.5/10

  • We get the match, so apparently Apollo won the pose down.
  • Lashley gets a Flatliner, but Crews takes over.
  • Crews tries to dive off the top rope, lands into a front handspring, then flips over Lashley. Woah.
  • A Warrior Slam doesn't keep Lashley down long enough for a standing moonsault.
  • Lio Rush comes in and distracts Apollo long enough for Lashley to get a spear. Lio was good per usual.
  • Lashley wins.
  • Apollo got a great reaction, looked great in the ring, then was made to look like a doofus.

Seth Rollins defeated Drew McIntyre
5.75/10

  • Seth meets Lashley on the ramp on the way down.
  • Rollins says months ago he was on top of the world with titles and brothers and now he has nothing but wrestling, but that's gonna carry him to win the Royal Rumble. This promo seemed off. He was handed a main event push in storyline and treats it like it didn't happen.
  • Drew McIntyre comes out and says Rollins has no chance of winning the Rumble, and he'll take great pleasure in eliminating him and winning.
  • I say this often, I don't know that I've spoken to anyone more passionate about pro wrestling than Drew McIntyre. Particularly during his Impact run you could tell how driven he was.
  • McIntye controls the match early, and ahead of a break does a Slammabamma to the floor. 
  • Back from the break, Rollins hits an awesome running head scissors into a Falcon Arrow.
  • Often times when Rollins "lands on his feet," he actually doesn't. He does, however, land his foot on McIntyre's face for a superkick.
  • A Glasgow Kiss, Super White Noise and a big gutwrench powerbomb hit for Drew for 2. 
  • Rollins rolls up Drew for the win.
  • Dolph Ziggler is the only person Drew McIntyre has beaten on TV since December.
  • Fun match.

 

Lucha House Party defeated Jinder Mahal & The Singh Bros.

  • As good as Kalisto and Metalik are, if you've seen one Lucha House Party match, you've seen them all.
  • There is no reaction to this match. Good for the Singhs.
  • This is Corey Graves fitting in pop culture references.
  • Metalik gets a quick pin.

Backstage Crappenings

- Is EC3 a mute? That's the opposite of productive with him. If he had a microphone for six straight weeks, I think that would have been better. Dana is asking about his diet. 

- The Revival are pitching a special guest referee to Vince McMahon, and Curt Hawkins emerges. Vince McMahon really jobs out Curt Hawkins, but he's gonna be the ref. 

- Titus O'Neil enters the Royal Rumble in odd fashion, with someone walking into his shot backstage.

Baron Corbin defeated Elias
5/10

  • Baron Corbin interrupts Elias and blames him for ratting him out to Strowman last week. Elias sings a song and swings a guitar at Baron.
  • Why do we need this goddamn match again?
  • The benefit is that Baron has heat, but I dunno if it's sustainable.
  • Old School lucha arm drag from Elias. Aight. His jumping knee always look good too.
  • End of Days, another big L for Elias. A "cheap shot" led to the win, but it was clean. The ref was separating them.

Moment of Bliss

  • Corey Graves is obsessed with Alexa Bliss.
  • She runs through Royal Rumble participants.
  • Nia Jax, Ember Moon, Alicia Fox and the rest of the division are out and end up brawling.
  • Alexa Bliss announces for the Royal Rumble, and gets a great pop. Good to see her back. 
  • Lacey Evans comes out and says Alexa Bliss is a sawed off runt, and she wont win the Rumble, because Lacey is. 

Heavy Machinery defeated The Ascension
SQUASH

  • Otis gets an airplane slam, before he and Tucker land a double headbutt on Viktor.
  • Tucker does a second rope body press, before they do a dancing squisher to the head.
  • Caterpiller, worm. Compactor. Squash.

WWE Raw Tag Team Championship
Special Guest Referee Curt Hawkins
Roode & Gable (c) defeated The Revival
5.5/10

  • A big surprise: Chad Gable is really good. 
  • Dawson catches Gable with a big running uppercut, but Gable takes out both opponents with a diving clothesline.
  • In stereo suplexes and an assisted senton hit for Roode & Gable. Gable actually lands on his feet.
  • Back from a break, Roode is on a roll, and The Revival almost win by cheating, but Hawkins spots it.
  • Hawkins spots it a second time when The Revival try to cheat. 
  • Gable body presses Dawson, but Scott rolls through and holds the tights. Hawkins spots it again.
  • Hawkins catches them a FOURTH time cheating, and Gable ends up pinning Dawson.
  • A six and a half minute title match will get em' to hang around I bet.
  • The Revival go off on Hawkins and attack him. 
  • Zack Ryder saves Curt Hawkins and sends Revival packing.
  • Real missed opportunity to not hit Ryder's music there. Everyone still knows it.

Boss N' Hug Connection defeated Natayla & Ronda Rousey
5.75/10

  • Ronda Rousey cuts a promo that I would call CLUNKY.
  • The answer to every wrestler who can't talk isn't Heyman. I love his work, but I don't think that's the solution.
  • "She's too busy traveling the world living the lifestyle of a boss." - a promo.
  • Sasha Banks says she wasn't given anything. She earned it. 
  • Sasha gets into Ronda's head, but Rousey eventually lands a couple of throws. Banks is the antagonist here.
  • Bayley does a super Frankensteiner that leads into a Sasha Meteora on Natalya.
  • Natalya Electric Chairs Sasha, but when Rousey tags in and rolls through, she eats elbows.
  • A Banks Statement is broken up by Natalya, and Hug N' Boss go to work on Rousey.
  • Rousey gains the upper hand and lands strikes on Bayley. Sasha dove out of the ring.
  • Bayley wisely recognized a Rousey armbar botch and dragged her to the corner to tag out. 
  • Rousey gains an armbar on Sasha, but gets hangman'd and has to tag out. 
  • Natalya taps to the Banks Statement.
  • That's the first match that Ronda Rousey has been on the losing end of in WWE. 
  • Women are consistently main eventing Raw and Smackdown and it's normal. I like that.
  • There's a pull apart to end the show.

 

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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