The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 01/20/20 Review

Welcome to another WWE Raw Deal review right here on TJRWrestling. This is the last episode of Raw before this year’s Royal Rumble PPV event on Sunday, January 26th. It’s a busy week of writing for me, but it’s all good because I love Royal Rumble season.

The main matches advertised for this week’s Raw are Andrade defending the US Title against Rey Mysterio in a Ladder Match, Rusev & Liv Morgan teaming up against Bobby Lashley & Lana, Randy Orton vs. Drew McIntyre and Becky Lynch vs. Kairi Sane. Let’s get to it.

Live from Wichita, Kansas, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1391 of Monday Night Raw. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage, insightful columns from our team along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner up top.

The live review begins shortly after 8pmET.




The next WWE pay-per-view is the Royal Rumble on January 26th in Houston, Texas. Our preview will go up on Saturday morning and I’ll have a live review only on TJRWrestling on Sunday night. Here’s what we know so far.

Men’s Royal Rumble Match – Entrants include: WWE Champion Brock Lesnar (entered himself at No. 1), Roman Reigns, King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura, Braun Strowman, Erick Rowan, AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Elias, Rey Mysterio, Ricochet, Drew McIntyre, Otis, Tucker, Rusev, Bobby Lashley, Aleister Black and Buddy Murphy. That’s from  the list.

Women’s Royal Rumble Match – Entrants include: Charlotte Flair, Alexa Bliss, Nikki Cross and Sarah Logan. They’ve only announced four names so far.

Strap Match for the Universal Championship: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Daniel Bryan

Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Asuka

Falls Count Anywhere: Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin (They are both in the Men’s Royal Rumble match as well.)

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Lacey Evans

Sheamus vs. Shorty G

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Becky Lynch Admits She Wanted To Submit Ronda Rousey At WWE WrestleMania 35

During a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Becky Lynch discussed her match with Ronda Rousey, admitting she wishes she had tapped her out.

Lynch ended up winning the WWE WrestleMania 35 main event via pinfall, but that wasn’t how she wanted to do it, as she revealed.

“If I could change anything from WrestleMania, I would have tried to freakin’ sink on that arm bar. Make Ronda Rousey tap out for the first time in her life.”

The Man also spoke about how that rivalry was personal and how those sorts of blurred lines are able to connect with fans.

“This truly picked up genuine momentum when we got stories that were personal,” said Lynch. “Friendships were on the line, there was betrayal, and I really do think that what we were allowed to do in NXT transformed what we do in WWE now. Being able to have that platform where we could have longer matches, where we could tell engaging stories, and our gender was never a limitation, which it seemed to have been on the main roster. We’ve been constantly breaking through glass ceilings. We’ve been burning down the house, building up new ones, tearing them down, building up a castle, tearing that down, building up a freaking city, tearing that down, building up a whole new planet. Now the possibilities are endless.”

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Twitter Request Line, Vol. 284

Boomer shit?

It’s Twitter Request Line time, everyone! I take to Twitter to get questions about issues in wrestling, past and present, and answer them on here because 280 characters can’t restrain me, fool! If you don’t know already, follow me @tholzerman, and wait for the call on Wednesday to ask your questions. Hash-tag your questions #TweetBag, and look for the bag to drop Thursday afternoon (most of the time). Without further ado, here are your questions and my answers:

Nah, holiday cards have been a big thing among my millennial-and-younger friends in the Christmas season. They’re a good way to show someone you care during the holidays, and for some people, they’re an outlet for creativity if they design their own cards. Christmas greetings are never an outdated boomer bullshit thing, unless you’re using them as a platform to proselytize that you NEED TO KEEP THE CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS or whatever. THEN you’re a goddamn boomer.

Seth Rollins – a phone plan with absolutely no data

Becky Lynch – male revue gift card

The Fiend – a puppy

Chris Jericho – gift card to Texas Roadhouse

Jon Moxley – jorts for the summertime

Kazuchika Okada – jumbo money clip

Jay White – Nair for your face

Tetsuya Naito – beanbag chair

Kota Ibushi – a skateboard

ROH main event – lol, no one in ROH is a top star

LA Park – gift card to Men’s Wearhouse

Mayu Iwatani – a gold watch for not taking a WWE contract

WWE failed upwards, doubled back to correct a mistake in time for their biggest show, and then oversaturated the push to the point where people thought it was an intentional dive overboard in the first place. Sound familiar? It’s how WWE lucked into every top star they’ve had in its Vincent Kennedy McMahon history. Lynch was over as hell and they pushed Charlotte Flair over her. She was undeniable, so she was inserted into a hot feud for the slow fall months, and in place of having a main event with no juice at their biggest show of the year for the second (or more accurately, fourth year in a row), they called an audible. I wouldn’t even say that Lynch was overexposed on purpose either. It was when they tried making her real life relationship with Seth Rollins/Colby Lopez into an angle is when she went south. OF course, I couldn’t tell you what she feels like right now because I’m currently divorced from the WWE product and will be for presumably a long time, but I wouldn’t be surprised if WWE couldn’t leave well enough alone and ruin an organic main event star.

Protected user @earthdog asks:

You have to reboot three 80’s tag team gimmicks with young active wrestlers, which three teams and how to you make the gimmicks fresh?

The Bash Bullies – The Road Warriors as a tag team is an eternal and fresh concept. You take a team of big bruisers, give them a name that isn’t the Road Warriors but evokes them, and give them gear and facepaint to seal the deal. I wouldn’t go exactly like the Roadies, but man, Mad Max: Fury Road gives some good inspiration for post-apocalyptic gear.

The Future Is Here – Tekno Team 2000 was a decent idea with terrible execution in the era of reductive gimmicks with rock-bottom effort put into them. Honestly, you don’t need that much effort to make a new version. Silver tights and wrestling with Google Glass on is just extra enough to denote a hypermodern gimmick but not corny enough that it would doom the team. As for who would be in it? It’s a gimmick that could fit any number of wrestlers with modern offenses. I just don’t know who yet.

Pavlov Brothers – Jesse and Festus were another teaming that suffered from Vince McMahon’s bigoted and stunted brain. I think not treating them seriously and having Festus be brain-damaged instead of just trained for action is the big fault. You take the gimmick, only you have the hammer of the team be pleasant and personable outside of matches, but then the ring bell turns him into a Tazmanian Devil-level tornado of carnage, and the gimmick can be realized without making fun of a marginalized group of people.