With the 2021 Survivor Series and the Thanksgiving holiday now behind them, WWE got to the business of kicking off the build to its Day 1 pay-per-view on this week’s episode of WWE Raw, as the promotion announced what match will co-headline that show alongside whoever challenges Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship.
As usual, WWE put plenty of counterproductive content on this show, but that doesn’t mean that the show was without its positives. In fact, we’re going to discuss a couple of them right now.
These are the top two things that went right on the Nov. 29 episode of WWE Raw.
The start of the show, surprisingly
Most episodes of Raw start with a familiar pattern: wrestler comes out, cuts a promo, gets interrupted by another wrestler, they chat back and forth, the chatting devolves into brawling, and the authority figures come out to make some sort of match between the two (or more).
If you expected a full deviation from the norm here…well, you’re expecting too much from WWE, as the show started with Seth Rollins coming out to perform his schtick and announce that he would receive his WWE Championship match against Big E at Day 1.
However, WWE added some wrinkles to change things up a little. First, Rollins didn’t belabor any of the points he needed to make via his usual 10-minute AC-TING exhibition, and once he was done, we saw Finn Balor charge the ring to see revenge on Rollins for curb-stomping him twice last week.
This led to the scheduled Rollins vs. Balor match (a non-impromptu match, now novel!) and the two put together a solid match that saw Rollins win (as he should have) with an eye poke and a curb stomp.
A relatively succinct promo and a good match to start the show. WWE should do this more often.
Liv Morgan showing some babyface fire.
Throughout this feud with Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch, Liv Morgan has yet to come across as anything other than a speed bump on “The Man’s” path to a bigger title defense. WWE sought to remedy some of that on this week’s Raw, and while the attempt had plenty of flaws, at least the promotion tried to present Morgan as a somewhat credible threat to Lynch’s gold.
Doing things like rolling out the tired contract signing trope and giving Morgan gross pro-management material to match Lynch on the microphone were glaring missteps, but Morgan deserves some credit for showing some fire and giving off some vibes that she isn’t just some lame-duck challenger. To be clear, she very much is, but the effort to convince fans otherwise is what matters here.
Morgan also got the pin in a 10-woman tag team match later in the show and hit Lynch with her finisher to stand tall after the contest. Her not standing out in the ring — the whole conceit of the match was to get her over as a legit contender — is a concern, but if she turns in a good performance against Lynch next week, what she did in the tag match will be rendered moot.