WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from November 30
WWE still has a few weeks before its annual Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view, so it is taking the slow approach with the buildup. As of Monday morning, no matches had been confirmed.
That all changed during Raw when Keith Lee, Riddle and AJ Styles fought in a Triple Threat match to see who would get to challenge Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship.
Jeff Hardy and Elias continued their feud this week with a Symphony of Destruction match that featured different instruments around the ring that could be used as weapons.
We also saw McIntyre give an exclusive interview, and Randy Orton appeared on "A Moment of Bliss" to talk about Bray Wyatt.
Let's take a look at everything that happened on Monday's Raw.
'A Moment of Bliss'
Raw opened with Alexa Bliss already in the ring to host an episode of "A Moment of Bliss." She wasted no time welcoming Orton to the show. The set was two chairs that looked like they belonged in a kid's playroom and a little cage with a doll inside it.
Bliss pointed out how it was clear Orton was in a bad mood and played a clip of The Viper losing to Styles last week. Orton talked about how he has had to bury part of him deep down so he could blend in. He compared the voices he hears to the voices Wyatt hears.
The Viper talked about how he burned down Wyatt's cabin because it was his weakness and now he thinks he has found Wyatt's new weakness with Bliss. She looked him right in the eye and asked: "Who is manipulating who?"
The lights started to drop and Orton just said, "See what I mean?" When the lights came back on, The Fiend was in the ring looking at Orton holding Bliss in his arms. The Fiend held out his hands and Orton handed her over before rolling out of the ring with a smile on his face.
Anything with The Fiend and Bliss has to be viewed through a different lens than the rest of Raw. This segment was just the right amount of bonkers to work perfectly.
The feud between Orton and Wyatt could be great for both men if it is booked right, and if we get more segments like this, it will eclipse the WWE title feud.
Bliss has been the MVP of these segments lately. She has found a new niche and is playing her role to perfection.
Elias vs. Jeff Hardy (Symphony of Destruction)
WWE aired a video recapping this feud with one of Elias' songs playing over the footage before he made his way to the ring to face Hardy. The ring was surrounded by various instruments to use as weapons.
The action quickly spilled out of the ring where Elias hit a big jumping knee to prevent Hardy from hitting him with a violin. He dropped The Charismatic Enigma's face onto the apron and slammed his head into a piano.
The piano started to move, and Elias found R-Truth hiding inside. He took off while several Superstars came out to chase him. Hardy and Elias took a few of them out with guitars as we went to a break.
We returned to see Hardy hitting a string of signature moves for a two-count. Elias rammed his head into a guitar he wedged in the corner for another near-fall. Elias put some guitar pics between his fingers and used them like brass knuckles.
Elias brought Hardy back outside and slammed his head into some drums. Hardy avoided a running knee that hit a gong near the announce table. The Enigma went for Whisper in the Wing, but Elias hit him with a guitar. Hardy grabbed the bottom rope to break the pin.
Elias electrocuted himself with a speaker, and Hardy put him on top of a table. He climbed to the top turnbuckle and hit a Swanton for the win. He hit his head on the steps on the way down but appeared to be OK.
This match had some fun moments, but it felt like one bout too many for this feud. Their final encounter should have been the Guitar on a Pole match a few weeks ago.
The spot when Hardy's head hit the steps was frightening, especially after what happened to his brother a couple of months ago when he faced Sammy Guevara at Full Gear.
The stuff with the 24/7 title just illustrates how WWE has no new ideas for what to do with that belt or the people it puts in those segments.
Ricochet vs. Slapjack
Ricochet and Retribution gave separate backstage promos before this match began. Slapjack spoke about how he is a weapon for Retribution, and Ricochet said he is going to stop trying to save Mustafa Ali and just be better than him.
Ricochet hit a springboard crossbody right away before hitting a flurry of strikes in the corner. Slapjack got in a little offense before Ricochet regained the upper hand and hit a standing shooting star press for a near-fall.
Ali called Mace and T-Bar down, but Ricochet threw Slapjack into them before taking out all three with a dive. He rolled Slapjack back in and prepared to finish him off. Dana Brooke came out of nowhere and slapped Ali in the face. She yelled at him about Reckoning, and the distraction allowed Slapjack to hit his finisher for the win.
The promos before this match were both strong. Ali is great on the mic, and Ricochet showed more emotion in his speech than we usually see from him.
The match itself was average, especially considering who was involved. Both Ricochet and Shane Thorne have proved how good they are many times, and this bout did not feel like they were giving their all. It suffered because WWE was trying to tell a bigger story at the same time.
The inclusion of Brooke at the end was a nice bit of continuity after Mia Yim took her out before Survivor Series, but her actions led to Ricochet's loss, so he might be a little upset with her.
The Miz and John Morrison were in the ring after a commercial to host an episode of "Miz TV." They welcomed Sheamus to the show.
Sheamus was in no mood for their jokes because they were going to be opponents later in the show when he would team up with McIntyre for a tag match.
The Miz asked him about giving McIntyre the family heirlooms a few weeks ago and said McIntyre is a bad friend for not getting him something in return. He called Sheamus an afterthought who used to be the top dog in WWE.
The Celtic Warrior took off his jacket and got in Miz's face. He attacked both men and easily beat them down until Miz hit him with the briefcase.
This was the second talk-show segment after "A Moment of Bliss" opened the broadcast. It was a little excessive to have two of these segments during the first half of the show, but both felt completely different, so it wasn't too bad.
This was nothing special, but it did a good job setting up the tag team match later in the show and planting the seeds for a possible Money in the Bank cash-in or Sheamus turning on his friend.
Asuka and Lana vs. Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax
Lana surprisingly got a two-count on Shayna Baszler right away. The Queen of Spades took her down, but Asuka came in and made the save. The tag champs grabbed both of them and swung them into the barricade at the same time.
We returned after a break to see Lana trying to take down Jax with a sleeper hold. Jax easily threw Lana to the mat and choked her against the middle rope.
The tag champs continued to dominate Lana while Asuka recovered on the apron. The Ravishing Floridian shoved Jax into the ring post, and both women made the tag to their partners.
Asuka began to build some momentum as she took it to Baszler with a barrage of strikes. Lana tagged herself in, and Asuka had to save her from Baszler's clutches. Lana covered Baszler for the win.
Asuka and Baszler weren't in this match together much, and that ended up being its downfall. Lana and Jax have no chemistry as opponents, and it showed here.
The idea of Lana and Asuka winning the women's tag belts before a team like The Riott Squad is a sad indicator of how much thought WWE spends booking this division.
Cedric Alexander vs. Xavier Woods
Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston came out and gave a great promo about how many times they have beaten The Hurt Business. This obviously brought the group out to respond.
Cedric Alexander challenged Woods to a match, but as the show was going to a commercial, he attacked Woods before the bell to get an early advantage.
We came back to see Woods unloading on Alexander in the corner. Alexander dropped him across the top rope to turn the tide back in his favor.
Woods began to make a comeback and hit the Honor Roll for a two-count. He sidestepped a suicide dive and sent Alexander into the barricade. When they got back into the ring, Alexander hit the Lumbar Check for the win.
This is what happens when you put two exciting, competent workers in the ring together. They produce a fun match that highlights their strengths.
Woods is one of the most underrated individuals in WWE. Everybody knows he is great in tag team matches, but seeing him perform this well in a singles bout was a nice change of pace.
After this feud is over, it's hard to imagine whatever comes next will produce as many entertaining encounters as this storyline.
Keith Lee vs. Riddle vs. AJ Styles
Riddle and Styles took the fight out of the ring right away. Lee was going to dive onto them, but both men cleared out of the way when they saw him coming.
Lee scored the first two-count of the match on Riddle. The Limitless One slowed down the pace a bit before Riddle started firing back with forearm strikes. One big shot from Lee put him back on the mat.
Omos helped Styles hit Lee with a running knee before Riddle took them both out at ringside. Styles countered a Broton before Lee sent him flying out of the ring.
Lee began to focus on Riddle as he threw him across the ring and crushed him in the corner. Lee countered a triangle submission, but Riddle kicked him in the head.
All three men came close to winning several times before Styles hit Riddle with the Phenomenal Forearm for the win.
This was a solid match from three Superstars who are known for having different kinds of athleticism. Their various styles all worked well together.
The backstage segments with Riddle leading up to the match were not great, but his work in the ring made up for it.
Lee was the standout with some of his power moves and impressive speed, but Styles winning was the right call. He and McIntyre will put on a great match at TLC.
Dana Brooke vs. Reckoning
This match was booked after what happened earlier between Ali and Brooke. Reckoning hit a dropkick right away, but Brooke got the upper hand and nearly pinned her.
Reckoning grounded her in a submission for a little while, but Brooke was able to escape. She began to build up a head of steam. Ali tried to distract her, but Brooke got the pin with a roll-up.
The biggest failure on WWE's part is how long it took Mia Yim to get a match on Raw. Ali screaming at her for losing didn't help.
This bout was short and didn't accomplish anything except adding another loss to Retribution's record.
The Miz and Morrison vs. Sheamus and Drew McIntyre
The main event was a tag match with The Miz and Morrison taking on Sheamus and McIntyre. Earlier, The Miz tried to convince Styles to help him cash in his MITB briefcase.
Sheamus immediately pushed Miz to the corner and hit some body blows before throwing him with a fallaway slam. He threw him to the corner so he could tag Morrison.
McIntyre came in and easily took down Morrison before tagging in Sheamus for some double-team moves. He single-handedly took on both men before telling Styles to join them. He argued with The Phenomenal One for a moment, but Omos got in his way.
After a break, The Miz and Morrison were controlling the pace against Sheamus. McIntyre tagged in and started throwing Miz around the ring.
Sheamus begged for the tag, but Morrison pulled him off the apron and threw him over the barricade. Styles came flying in with a Phenomenal Forearm to McIntyre and told Miz to cash in. Styles handed the ref the briefcase, but Miz yanked it back. McIntyre popped up and nailed him with a Claymore kick before setting his sights on Styles. Omos saved him from certain destruction.
There was a little too much going on here, but the Superstars involved managed to weave all of the stories together well enough for it not to be confusing.
The match had some good action and gave us a taste of what a proper tag team with Sheamus and McIntyre would be like. It was a decent ending but far from the best match or segment of the night.