It’s our final RAW In A Nutshell for the year, which means the red brand is saying goodbye to 2021!
OK, depending on your perspective…maybe it’s not so exciting?
In any case, if you are reading this, it means we survived another year, pandemic and all.
It’s our last RAW-and last main roster show-before the Day 1 PPV on Saturday. So yes, we can expect some final hype.
What we can also expect, based on a bit of a WWE outbreak? A reduced roster and perhaps some special fill-ins.
A number of talents were pulled from shows over the weekend, some due to positive tests, others out of an abundance of caution.
Caution meaning WWE wants to ensure the Day 1 card isn’t decimated by downed Superstars.
What a way to be saying goodbye to 2021, right?
In fairness, considering all that we have endured since early 2020…would you expect anything else?
At this point, probably not.
Enough about that…what’s big for the evening?
I’d bet we have a guest Glamazon crashing that ceremony, but I digress.
The red brand might be short-staffed for the final RAW, but the show should still be entertaining.
With that said, let’s get into it. It’s time for our final…
RAW In A Nutshell: Saying Goodbye To 2021
Let’s crack open this Nutshell and say goodbye!
Best Match of the night:
For me, Damian Priest and Dolph Ziggler was it.
This was our de facto main event, as the main event segment went to the vow renewals.
Have to love Priest getting that exposure, and Ziggler is no slouch.
Worst match of the night:
Honestly…not going to pick on one tonight.
Star of the Night
I have a few honors here.
One, to the entire crew for this RAW, because not every member of the roster was able to go this week. Like, KO deserves credit, only one of the 4 to be live this week…
Two, even in earning jobber honors, I felt this was one of Chad Gable’s better matches of late.
Three, Damian Priest in what was basically our main event match.
And our final spot? Edge, getting a massive pop for “objecting” to the vow renewals.
Sadly, WWE held Beth out still…but it is hard not to see her coming eventually.
Spot of the Night:
For me, without a doubt, it’s Montez Ford leaping damn near from one turnbuckle to the opposite one with his latest frog splash.
We’ve seen some guys go nearly coast-to-coast, but with some embellishment.
There was no embellishment needed in this instance.
Jobber of the Night:
Chad Gable, and to a lesser extent Otis.
Well, in Gable’s case, he had about 97% of the offense in his match against Riddle.
And, Riddle got the win.
Otis had a good chunk of the offense in his match with Randy Orton too. Not as lopsided…and he too lost.
Now, I still feel (hope?) that Alpha Academy is being lined up for a tag title reign. If so, perhaps the losses tonight are forgivable.
To be honest, I felt bad calling Gable a jobber, because up until he took the L, I felt it was a really good match.
Also, for one more…Commander Azeez. Because he didn’t get to do much, but he did eat a Phenomenal Forearm.
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:
I am still processing this one, but NXT 2.0’s Grayson Waller was on the show tonight.
Personally, I feel like he might be the Paul Brothers’ long-lost Australian cousin. Loud, and his ring gear screams boxing, not wrestling.
I can’t tell if he was on more to further a most unexpected feud (probable), or to help mask the absence of Omos (possible).
But that wasn’t even the biggest…
I feel like this man, not that long ago, said he’d never work in WWE again.
Maybe that wasn’t the exact sentiment…
— WWE (@WWE) December 28, 2021
LOL Moment of the night:
There were a few, and I am sure it was not the intent of WWE…but still.
Several times that I counted, we had a graphic on screen, after the Superstar had been shown heading to the ring, saying “so-and-so Live”.
It was big that some were live, because quite a few were sending recorded messages.
But, showing the graphic after we already saw them live, walking to the ring? Funny to me.
Also enjoyed Riddle with his higher education quips…and Orton, for his body language and facial expressions at the same time.
Many of the roster and behind the scenes staff were not there.
Big E was not there, and without checking, it seems likely WWE had him elsewhere to ensure he’s healthy for Day 1.
Omos, who was supposed to face off with former partner AJ Styles, was also not at the show. Apollo and Commander Azeez filled in.
Seth Rollins, who tested positive for COVID over the weekend, was naturally nowhere to be found live-we had him via recorded message.
I mean, Kevin Owens was the only one of the four RAW main event participants who was actually live this week.
Botch of the night:
Miz tripped getting into the ring area for the ceremony.
To his-and Bischoff’s-credit, he rolled with it. Nothing else you can do, but he did it well.
Not a knock on anyone, because we can’t control who catches a virus…but it’s a bummer to end 2021 with a number of talents missing the go-home show.
I have to say, the talent that was there and able to perform did so in admirable fashion.
Not trying to be picking fun at all. No, it was not the top shelf roster, but those available made things work.
After the final bell:
Well, that’s a rap on RAW, and with that we can all get to saying our own goodbye to 2021.
The year ended, sort of, as it began…with people grappling with the pandemic.
Upside is, we ended the year outside of ThunderDome.
And, if you had Eric Bischoff returning to WWE to officiate a vow renewal on your 2021 bingo card? Congrats, you’ve won a prize.