WWE News

WWE RAW Results – January 18, 2020

WWE Raw Results

Keep up with all of tonight’s WWE RAW results as the show emanates from the WWE ThunderDome inside Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida with the continuation of the build to the upcoming Royal Rumble event.

Check out the results from last week’s RAW!

Already announced for tonight:

Live Results and Analysis provided by ITRWrestling writer Liam Stewart.

Randy Orton responds to Alexa Bliss’ actions last week

  • Orton, complete with facial burns and a Luchadore Mask, tells us the voices in his head are louder than ever.
  • ‘The Viper’ continues that weeks ago he showed Alexa a side to himself he hasn’t shown anyone before, compassion.
  • He continues stating that he does not understand why for his compassion this [the burns/the fireball] is what he received.
  • The aesthetic of the segment is blackness, a singular TV lights the shot and on that screen is repeated footage of what happened last week before recapping the greatest moments in Randy Orton’s Royal Rumble career.
  • The former ‘Legend Killer’ states he was lucky as he only suffered 1st degree burns…meaning superficial surface level burns [making the mask and dramatic promo a bit over the top, just pop some burn cream on].
  • Orton continues saying he now loves the pain and he will use it to fuel his journey to the main event of WrestleMania.

Analysis: I am in two minds regarding this segment…firstly, it was unique it felt very different to every other opening to RAW in months however…it the aesthetic was slightly off for me. I totally understand what they were going for, the charmingly scarred serial killer vibe that has women around the world binging true crime documentaries on Netflix. However, it did feel slightly hokey and the inclusion of 1st Degree Burns is a bit strange given that 1st Degree Burns are pretty much nothing…Sunburn is a 1st Degree Burn. Furthermore, Orton delivered the promo well however I feel that there was potential to take this much more seriously and much much darker but fingers crossed that will come in time.

Charlotte Flair defeats Peyton Royce via submission in 10:45

  • Pre-match Lacey Evans and Ric Flair are shown arriving at the venue, they are asked the nature of their relationship to which Lacey Evans responds ‘What is this…TMZ?”.
  • Lacey continues saying that Flair is just living up to his nickname [The Dirtiest Player in the Game] and she is just learning from the greatest wrestler to ever step in a ring.
  • The duo are here to watch Peyton Royce defeat Charlotte Flair backstage and that match is happening now.
  • As Flair makes her entrance Royce blindsides her for behind [nearly wiping the Camera worker out in the process] and roles her into the ring as we head to a pre-match Ad-break.
  • Early on Flair continues the streak of not being overly dominant on return as Royce actually keeps the upper hand for the opening exchanges.
  • The Float-Over Shoulder Tackle into a roll-up attempt gives Charlotte a pinfall opportunity however Ric Flair comes out and brings out Lacey Evans…wearing his styling and profiling robe and making her entrance Charlotte Flair style.
  • Although flair begins to dominate she is regularly distracted by Lacey and Her Father’s presence.
  • A chop block from Flair begins a ruthless targeting of Royce’s left knee leading into the Figure Eight handing Charlotte the win via submission.
  • Charlotte furious by the ongoings refuses to break the submission, the first signs of a snap in Flair.

Analysis: Isolating this segment from the rest of the division and we have a prime example of 50/50 booking. Peyton got a huge upset win over Charlotte which could have been used to provide momentum to a future star but instead we have naturalised that momentum two weeks later.I am not a fan of the Ric Flair and Charlotte storyline however it is at least consistent and causing a devolution in Charlotte meaning that the story matters and is having impact on the show. The wider division is in need of a massive reset, Asuka is a double champion with all the momentum of an enhancement talent and the likes of Mandy, Dana, Nikki, Shayna and Nia are doing nothing meaty and instead floating between little micro rivalries and Lana [who I guess will likely return at the Rumble to get one over Nia] had her story derailed to bring in Charlotte. A number of changes are needed including flesh blood, a returning Naomi and a debuting Rhea Ripley is a start but wider writing changes are needed.

Mace [w/RETRIBUTION] defeats Xavier Woods via Pinfall in 6:03

  • Kingston is not on the show due to a Broken Jaw meaning that Woods is alone for the first time in a long time.
  • Pre-match Mustafa Ali states he is glad Kingston broke his jaw leading to Woods jumping him and allowing Mace to take the early advantage thanks to a blindsided attack.
  • Despite going a relatively lengthly time period [given the lack of build] nothing of real note happens during the match.
  • Ali instructs Mace to break the jaw of Woods including a series of Fish Hooks and stiff kicks, Mace eventually picks up the win via pinfall following a failed Honour Roll attempted.

Analysis: I am interested where this Wood devolution is going, I would be interested in Woods taking over RETRIBUTION whilst Kingston “is out” and using that momentum to go into a King of the Ring tournament and finally give him a big win and singles push because well he wants it, the fans want it and it would at least be interesting.

Alexa’s Playground with Asuka

  • Alexa starts by addressing ‘The Viper’ in the room, stating she just wanted to talk to Randy before things got a little bit heated.
  • Asuka enters [acting terrified of Alexa and very nervous of offending her] and tries to sit down beside Bliss, Bliss states thats not her seat and begins speaking to an invisible being [The Fiend].
  • Alexa gets increasingly more aggressive at Asuka as ‘The Empress of Tomorrow’ walks on egg shells trying not to offend Bliss.
  • Little Miss Bliss officially enters herself into the 2021 Royal Rumble.

Analysis: Although seeing Asuka this nervous was odd given her dominance in previous times, it did indeed make perfect sense. Last week Asuka witnessed Bliss set a mans face on fire and therefore it makes sense she would be terrified. Bliss was fantastically unsettling in this segment and the invisible rocking horse and whispering to nobody was fantastic. This has been the highlight of the show so far by a country mile.

Shayna Baszler [w/Nia Jax] defeats Mandy Rose [w/ Dana Brooke] via Submission in 5:35

  • Every episode of WWE RAW since December 14th has featured Shayna Baszler against either Mandy Rose or Dana Brooke [including Tag Matches].
  • Prior to this Shayna Baszler has only faced off against four unique opponents since the end of October [Lana, Dana Brooke, Asuka and Mandy Rose].
  • Nia Jax is on commentary for the duration of this singles match.
  • Nia confirms on commentary that both her and Baszler will be entrants in the Rumble and that they will not hold off on eliminating one another if needs be to get the win and Main event WrestleMania.
  • Brooke provides a distraction in the corner leading to a near fall for Rose however Baszler kicks it up a gear and locks in the rear-naked to pick up the win.

Analysis: This was a complete rise and repeat of the match and segment we have seen between this set of four performers for over three months now. Nia on commentary was surprisingly very good and Dana at one point his a very nice apron dropkick which Shayna and Nia sold perfectly. However, outside of this, this was a complete forgettable and nothing segment that just repeated a story rather than attempted to progress or develop one.

AJ Styles [w/ Omos] defeats Ricochet via pinfall in 13:47

  • Prior to this match we get a recap of the Universal Title events that unfolded on SmackDown last week.
  • Pearce states that if Ricochet wants in the Royal Rumble then this is a good chance to prove himself worthy.
  • The two light heavyweights start things off with a flurry of high octane offence including a series of incredible counters between the two.
  • Ricochet comes out on top of the initial exchanges including countering a countered baseball slide into a sliding ‘Rana.
  • Omos catches Ricochet following a splash attempted and drops him on the outside avoiding ejection from ringside.
  • The interference from the former Associate allows Styles to regain control of the match and begin his onslaught onto Ricochet.
  • A huge float-over German Suplex from Ricochet gives him a fantastic near-fall however Styles manages to get the shoulder up.
  • The Recoil allows Ricochet to counter the Phenomenal Forearm and get a second near-fall in a short period of time.
  • Ricochet is knocked off a springboard attempt and Styles bounces him stomach first of the ropes and uses the momentum of the bounce up to catch Ricochet into the Styles Clash for the win.
  • The text description of the finishing counter does not do it justice, seek it out.

Analysis: This is more like it RAW, I remember In years past if there was a mass locker room issue or rearrangement needed on the show they would often give two performers who are suited to it, fifteen to twenty minutes to steal the show and fill time. This may not have taken that length of time but it was defiantly the highlight of the first two hours and unless LHP and Riddle do something incredible is likely to remain so for the entire show.

The Dirt Sheet w/ Goldberg

  • Plot twist…it’s actually Gillberg [who suffered a hart attack just two months ago]
  • Drew McIntyre comes out….except its not Drew it’s a small man dressed in Braveheart gear.
  • The Miz states that at the Royal Rumble…Drew McIntyre will lose but so will Goldberg and how?
  • Because at the Royal Rumble The Miz will cash in and win because he is The Miz and he…is next.

Analysis: You know what, I was concerned for that segment but that was a legitimately very good promo from The Miz at the end of the segment. I am glad Gillberg is doing well given he reportedly had a heart attack less than three months ago and honestly I think I preferred this to the thought of an actual Dirtsheet segment with Goldberg.

The Hurt Business [w/ MVP] defeat Lucha House Party & Matt Riddle via Submission in 15:01

  • This was one of two pre announced matches for this match ahead of tonight, Riddle and LHP both have recent victories over members of The Hurt Business who have been experiencing a fractioning relationship as of late.
  • Metalik and Cedric Alexander start of the match exchanging a lovely sequence of fast paced offence ending with a perfect dropkick from Alexander.
  • Alexander gets in the face off his team mates acting overly cocky however the tables turn as Dorado gets the jump on Alexander who when he needs it receives no assistance from Lashley or Benjamin who refuse to tag in.
  • Benjamin and Alexander keep forcing each other to tag out and miscommunications galore lead to the two nearly coming to blows.
  • The Gold Standard shoves Alexander out the ring who begins to scream in the face of MVP, however MVP seems to get the trio back on the same page.
  • Lashley demands his partners sort their issues out as MVP screams on that he will take care of it.
  • The majority of the match features the Lucha House Party however eventually Riddle makes the tag and is able to come in with a series of strikes and flurry of fast paced offence.
  • Eventually despite Alexander and Benjamin continuing to exchange words Lashley is able to tap out Metalik with The Hurt Lock.

Analysis: I am really enjoying parts of this story, the rivalry between Benjamin and Alexander and MVP not sure who’s side to take because they are both good for the business. The rise of LHP again on TV is great as well however, what is most confusing to me is the face/heel dynamic. Riddle is meant to be the dorky face, yet he has repeatedly jumped Lashley [who won clean despite his team fighting against him] from behind after the bell. It is very confusing booking as is Lashley’s dominant US Title reign.

As far as dominant reigns go, booking wise, all the boxes are ticked he doesn’t lose his finishers are protected and he doesn’t over defend the title in face he really doesn’t defend the title at all. Furthermore I don’t think he has had a great singles match with the title during his entire reign it is very strange. I think Keith Lee could do with the rub of ending his streak and taking the US Title to do a open challenge type format to raise the value and respect of the title once again.

Jeff Hardy defeats Jaxson Ryker [w/ Elias] via DQ in 2:57

  • Hardy enters himself into the 2021 Royal Rumble before the match.
  • Jeff runs through his classic collection of offence on Ryker including the Whisper in the Wind and the Split Legged Leg Drop.
  • Ryker over rotates a Twist of Fate sell and takes a neck breaker bump instead, as Hardy makes his way to the turnbuckle for the Swanton, Elias shoves Hardy down forcing the DQ finish.
  • Elias and Ryker argue over why Elias got involved however post match Ryker beats down Elias with a Black Hole Slam.

Analysis: There is no need for this rivalry to continue this long, I think we are genuinely at about four months of it now and is benefiting nobody at all.

Alexa Bliss vs. Asuka

  • This is only Bliss’ 4th match since July 2020, with only two matches since September.
  • The match begins with a few nice sequence exchanges however as Alexa stands alone in the ring after surviving a barrage of kicks form Asuka the lights begin to flicker and cut out.
  • Annoyingly the match cuts to ad-breaks as the cliffhanger of the lights cutting out occurs and then rather than going back to the immediate consequences we get a Rumble ad on return from ads.
  • This really killed the suspense and immediate feeling of whats going to happen, however, as we return we see nothing has however Bliss looks like she has transformed and Asuka looks scared.
  • The unsettling metamorphosis that Bliss goes through sees her counter all of Asuka’s strikes before delivery a huge body kick of her own.
  • Asuka connects with a vicious knee strike however before Asuka can take advantage Bliss arches back startling Asuka and leaving her concerned.
  • Bliss nearly overpowers Asuka to lock in the Mandibal Claw however Asuka resists before being laid out by a huge right.
  • The former Little Miss Bliss counters a axe kick attempt into Sister Abigal to pick up the win before static appears over the screen and Bliss transforms back into her prematch attire and The Fiends voice echos from her mouth stating ‘Let me in’.

Overall this was a weak episode of WWE RAW, Styles and Ricochet was legitimately fantastic and honestly as much as I shouldn’t have I quite enjoyed the Gillberg/Drew Clay-less segment. However, outside of this nothing on the show mattered, none of it had any real stakes, none of it had any sizeable or hot build and the majority of it was rematches or re-re-rematches in the case of the Elias and Hardy feud as well as Shayna vs. Rose.

The Hurt Business and Alexa Bliss/The Fiend are doing some interesting character development work and Orton illustrated that intent at the beginning of the show which is positive. The main event actually felt fresh because it was, these performers had barely interacted and that made this segment and the outcome interesting and exciting as opposed to feeling repetitive or pointless .

There is very little that is down to the performances of the wrestlers themselves, yes Ryker has taken a neckbreaker rather than the Twist of Fate for two weeks running now, but other than that the primary issue with the show is the construction and story telling. If writers want fans to care about the stories being told then the stories need to elevate and intensify at points, Alexa vs. Orton did this rather bizarrely with the fireball but it at least did it. Every other rivalry just goes into Cruise Control from PPV to PPV and additionally the match composition, the segment pairing and all of this backstage work requires a huge improvement for RAW to catch up with the fantastic SmackDown.