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RAW In A Nutshell: Ringing In A Beast Of A New Year

It's not just any old RAW In A Nutshell, as on this edition, we are ringing in a Beast of a New Year, with new WWE Champ Brock Lesnar!

In an unexpected development, this RAW In A Nutshell has a different vibe…because we are ringing in a Beast of a New Year.

As in, it’s Brock Lesnar’s RAW now.

Lesnar-a free agent, officially-had plans changed in a big way on Saturday.

Big, as in Big E. As in Lesnar’s original match was cancelled, so he crashed the WWE Championship Fatal 4-way match.

It became a 5-way, and after a physical match, Lesnar became champion once again.

And with that, the red brand is ringing in a Beast of a New Year.

Sure, it’s a bummer for Big E…for now. Here’s guessing that won’t be the former champ’s only world title reign (we hope).

So with one positive COVID test, both brands saw a significant shuffling of their cards…and that brings us to this RAW in a Nutshell.

Will we see Brock, showing off his shiny new belt?

And, who gets to step up to the plate to take on Lesnar next? With the Royal Rumble at the end of the month, we will see soon enough.

It’s not all about Lesnar, of course. Becky Lynch retained against Liv Morgan…so is her defeated challenger moving on?

Now that Day 1 is in the past, WWE can move on to what now looks like a Beast of a New Year…so let’s get things started!

It’s time for…

RAW In A Nutshell: Ringing In A Beast Of A New Year

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Let’s crack open this Nutshell and find out!!

Best Match of the night:

I wanted to go with Heyman and Lesnar and the opening segment…but it was not a match.

So, for as good as I found Priest versus Ziggler…that isn’t the choice.

In spite of the terribly timed commercial interruption, the main event fatal 4 way gets it.

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Not thrilled we had a 4 way  just two days after a 5 way…but in the scheme of things, it worked.

Worst match of the night:

That mixed tag with the 24/7 title on the line…was bad. They need to just undo that whole program or something…fast.

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And then…Omos and Styles.

I know (we all do) that there were rumblings that Omos and Styles were so bad at MSG over the holidays, that is why we didn’t get that last Monday.

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My feeling is that this week likely went better than expected…but I have zero desire to see this one again any time soon. Close this one for now and move on.

Star of the Night

By virtue of his win: Bobby Lashley.

Lashley-Lesnar could be worthy of headlining a ‘Mania night…

By virtue of their opening segment, Lesnar and Heyman.

Spot of the Night:

Riddle went for the RKO, and Otis caught him and turned it into a slam for the win.

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Now, this was cool, and I will acknowledge that Otis is very strong, and Riddle is not the heaviest of Superstars.

Still, it looked impressive, and I feel its another way WWE is rehabbing Otis…

Jobber of the Night:

Maybe this is a week early, but this is where I am going anyways.

Next week, Doudrop got herself added to a match between Bianca Belair and Liv Morgan.

Winner fights Becky Lynch at the Rumble.

Why do I feel like Doudrop got added, will get to look good, but will ultimately take the pinfall loss to protect one of the other two…

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Upset of the Night:

I’d go less upset and go more with formulaic…but Alpha Academy winning over RKBro I suppose qualifies.

Minor surprise that Omos won clean. Figured that he might win, or it just wouldn’t be a clean match-DQ or count-out or something.

But I guess (hope?) that WWE wants to close the books on this and have each man move in separate directions.

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

The slap by Beth Phoenix was good.

We all knew this was going to happen…but the wait was worth it, and the mixed tag seems quite likely for the Rumble.

I mean…Miz said he accepted…but Maryse wasn’t so eager.

Which means, I’d bet a nickel that all four do double duty that night. Or at least two of the four.

Also…she’s coming back…


We knew it would be coming. Minor surprise here that WWE didn’t allow us to have the surprise pop for her appearance in the Rumble.

Like..sure we know she was going to be in there…but I think revealing her return now feels like they killed a possibly big pop.

Also…forget about spot…that Kevin Owens splash while the four men were in the crowd? Crazy.

LOL Moment of the night:

I know we saw Johnny Knoxville talk up the Rumble during Day 1…and now again on this RAW.

Well, it was the same clip…but still.

Please do not tell me WWE is going to actually have Knoxville IN the Rumble?!

Like, fine, he’s got a movie out right after, so he wants to hype it…but so many reasons why this would be a tremendously bad idea.

First, I feel it would be a slap in the face to any active Superstar who was left out for a non-wrestler. Even if they weren’t going to win…there is no

Second, it would also be insulting to the plethora of talents released in 2021…like, you’d rather a has-been Hollywood stunt man (though, I loved him in The Ringer) in the first of the Big 4 PPV?

This is more laughable than LOL. But this is where I slotted it, because I needed to vent.

Noteworthy Moment:

I was very tempted to drop this in best match, but it was not a match.

However, I felt it was that damn good.

Heyman, and Lesnar…but mostly Heyman, during the opening segment.

First, the advocate is back.

Second, in a cute, somewhat chops-busting way, Lesnar told Reigns to get better.

Third, both were complimentary to both Lashley and Big E.

As much as people might be bummed about Big E’s run ending, to me, Heyman and Lesnar just put him over big.

Maybe that is just my view of it, but that promo felt major, and it felt like there was a lot of groundwork laid.

For the next man up (Lashley), for the potential rematch (Big E) and for the ultimate match down the road (Reigns).

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I mean, who didn’t enjoy Lesnar saying “South Carolina…acknowledge me”. I can’t imagine Vince is doing a unified champ again….unless Nick Khan wants to release like one whole show?

Overall lowlights:

The 24/7 mixed tag…just not fun.

Reggie was fun, but it’s kind of overdone now?

Omos and Styles was not as bad as I feared…but it wasn’t good. And WWE had Omos squash one of the better wrestlers in this (or any) generation?

That feels like it could be akin to say, Giant Gonzalez crushing HBK (not saying that happened, just…meh).

Overall highlights:

Heyman and Lesnar, and all the possibilities that were set up in just the opening segment.

Damien Priest is fun to watch.

AJ Styles might be free and on his own again.

Alexa Bliss is coming back.

After the final bell:

Solid show, I can’t complain about a lot.

Loved the Heyman mic work, for sure. And Lesnar’s too.

From the jabs and fun at Reigns, to the pumping up of Big E and Lashley.

The biggest wrinkle though? After the Lashley win, Brock’s comment.

“Tell Roman Reigns…I’ll see him at SmackDown on Friday”.

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