Raw Rebound for 12/16/19 (Styles/Orton)

Seth Rollins opened Monday Night Raw with an in-ring promo. He stuck to his original claim that it was the WWE Universe that cast him aside and not the other way around. Rollins also said that even though he conquered Brock Lesnar and brought the Universal Championship back to Raw, it still wasn’t enough for the fans. He called himself a leader and a visionary before bringing out The AOP, who stood with him in the ring and said nothing. Before he left the ring, Rollins apologized ahead of time because he claimed that something was going to happen that he knew the fans would not like.

The Raw Tag Team Champions, The Viking Raiders, faced off against The O.C. combination of Gallows and Anderson. This was a rematch of their title fight from Tables, Ladders & Chairs, which ended in a double count-out disqualification. Gallows and Anderson took the fight to Erik and Ivar in a manner not often seen on Monday Night Raw. The Raiders would come back to swing the momentum of the match in their favor. Ultimately, it was the experience of Gallows and Anderson that allowed them to pick up the non-title pinfall after nailing Ivar with the Shatter Machine.

“The Redwood,” Erick Rowan, was in action against another local jobber who obviously did not get the memo to leave Rowan’s cloth-covered cage alone. After throwing him around like a rag doll on the outside of the ring, Rowan rolled him back inside and hit him with a couple of Claw Slams for the pinfall victory.

Bobby Lashley, fresh off his victory over Rusev at Tables, Ladders & Chairs, came to ringside with Lana. She bragged about how her boyfriend beat up her husband (or ex-husband, or whatever) before asking Lashley to ask her to marry him. He obliged. She accepted.

A Gauntlet Match to determine the number one contender for Rey Mysterio’s United States Championship kicked off with WWE 24/7 Champion R-Truth facing off against Tozawa. The former Cruiserweight Champion capitalized on a mistake by Truth to pick up the victory and move on. After the bell rang, R-Truth would grab his 24/7 Title and bail through the crowd with a host of superstars chasing him.

Tozawa’s next opponent was Ricochet. The two dazzling, high-flying superstars pulled out their acrobatic arsenal in a very competitive contest. This time around, Tozawa was unable to capitalize on a missed Shooting Star Press from Ricochet, who would eventually hit him with a Recoil for the pinfall victory.

Matt Hardy was out to face Ricochet next and nearly ended the contest in quick fashion with an early Side Effect. Hardy used his weight and experience advantage to keep Ricochet on the defensive for most of the match, seeing as that Ricochet had just been through two grueling matches. Ricochet’s resiliency was on display as he survived an attempted Twist of Fate and secured his third straight victory in the Gauntlet contest.

Humberto Carrillo was out next to face Raw’s resident superhero. Midway through the match, Zelina Vega appeared on the ramp. Her presence didn’t go unnoticed but the two athletic superstars pulled out all the stops and high-risk moves trying to best each other. A moonsault from Carrillo put Ricochet away.

With Zelina Vega as a decoy, Andrade attacked Carrillo from behind as he waited for the luchadore to come down the ramp. The bell never rang and Andrade seemingly never stopped brutalizing Carrillo. He struck Carrillo with double knee strikes and a trapped arm DDT on the exposed concrete outside the ring. Rey Mysterio ran down to make the save as Andrade and Vega scurried away.

As Humberto Carrillo was being stretchered away, Seth Rollins and The AOP came to the ring. Seth brought the pipe that Rey had given Kevin Owens last week. He sicced his hired guns on the masked superstar before telling him that he owed him one for interfering in his business and giving Owens that pipe. Rollins was a third of the way out of the ring before turning back and delivering a massive Curb Stomp to an already decimated Rey Mysterio. Backstage, he issued a challenge for Mysterio’s United States Championship.

Asuka, one half of the Women’s Tag Team Champions, was in action against NXT’s Deonna Purrazzo. The newcomer took advantage early and did her best to knock off The Emperess of Tomorrow, but the Asuka Lock finished her off.

Becky Lynch, “The Man” and Raw Women’s Champion, had a sit-down talk with Charly Caruso. Lynch said that even though she’s been ‘The Man’ for quite some time, she still can’t escape the fact that Asuka has beaten her every time they faced off. She implored Asuka to accept her challenge so she could earn that payback.

The main event witnessed another payback of sorts as A.J. Styles took on Randy Orton in somewhat of a WrestleMania rematch (won by Styles). The Viper tried to strike with an early RKO in the match, but was countered by Styles, who eventually rolled outside to break the momentum that Orton began with. Gallows and Anderson weren’t at ringside during the match, but would make their presence known. Styles tried to hit Orton with a Phenomenal Forearm but was caught in mid-air by the three most devastating letters in all of sports entertainment… The RKO. After the bell, The OC rushed the ring and attacked Orton. The Viking Raiders came down to ringside to assist Orton, but the numbers game was too much as Styles, Gallows and Anderson dispatched both Orton and The Viking Raiders to end the show.

What's up folks, I'm Hab and I've been a wrestling fan for more than thirty years. I grew up on the NWA and Crockett Promotions in the Triad City of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. My favorite wrestler of all time is Bret Hart. At the moment, I'm a Cesaro hipster and The World's Biggest Luke Harper fan. I was at the Smackdown! taping when Brock Lesnar threw Zach Gowen down a flight of steps in the New Orleans Arena and laughed about it for the next two days. I have a few loves in my life, my beautiful daughter, my family, professional wrestling and hip-hop are just some of them.