The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 10/23/17 Review

Submitted by John Canton on October 24, 2017 - 9:31am
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Live from Green Bay Wisconsin this is the Raw Deal for episode #1274. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.

The opening of the show focused on some images from TLC on Sunday with Kurt Angle teaming up with Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose to win the TLC match main event. Read my WWE TLC Review here if you haven't done so already.

Let’s Hear From Kurt Angle

Raw started with the General Manager Kurt Angle making his entrance to a big ovation as well as the “you suck” chants out of respect. The announce team is Michael Cole, Booker T and Corey Graves.

Angle went into the ring to thank the fans for the support. They chanted “you still got it” to him, which is deserving for a 48 year old man like Angle. He said that every story has a beginning, middle and end and last night he wrote a new chapter. Angle said when he inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame he didn’t think things could be better, but competing in the ring at TLC – it felt good. Angle said that was last night and tonight is a new night.

Angle moved on talking about the matches that are set for Survivor Series because it’s champion vs. champion.

Matches for Survivor Series:

Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss vs. Smackdown Women’s Champion Natalya

Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. United States Champion Baron Corbin

Raw Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose vs. Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Usos

Universal Champion Brock Lesnar vs. WWE Champion Jinder Mahal

Analysis: Out of those four matches I’m most excited about Rollins/Ambrose vs. Usos. That could be one of the best WWE tag team matches this year. It should be amazing. Two heel/heel matches with Bliss vs. Natalya and Miz vs. Corbin will be tough on the wrestlers to get the crowd to be into the matches. Perhaps there will be title changes before that.

Angle pronounced Mahal’s name wrong (he said “May-hal”), which was kinda funny. Angle said that Lesnar will be there with Paul Heyman later.

Angle added that there will be a men’s elimination match and a women’s elimination match. That’s similar to last year.

The Miz’s music started up as The Miz appeared on the ramp with Curtis Axel, Sheamus and Cesaro. Miz, Sheamus and Cesaro were in ring gear, so you know a match is coming. Miz complained about Angle while claiming that this was his show. Miz told Angle he should have stayed about it at TLC and made it a 2 on 5 match at Survivor Series. Miz said that Angle had to make it about himself and get in the spotlight. Miz told Angle he doesn’t belong in the WWE ring as a superstar or a General Manager. Angle told Miz that’s not going to happen. Angle said he wanted to go to his office, but Miz told him he won’t go anywhere.

Miz and his buddies surrounded Angle. The Shield music started up as the crowd went wild for Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose walking down the steps and they made their way into the ring, which led to Miz and friends backing away.

Miz pointed out that the odds are not in the favor of The Shield and Angle once again. Angle said he would schedule a match right now with The Miz teaming with Sheamus and Cesaro. Angle said they will face Rollins, Ambrose and a superstar that decided to stay an extra night…it’s AJ Styles.

Styles made his entrance to a thunderous ovation from the crowd. That was a massive pop as Styles walked down to the ring to set up this tag team match.

Analysis: Using the opening promo to set up a match is the usual format to Raw that we are all used to. Sometimes it’s for later in the show and sometimes it’s immediate. It was also informative by announcing Survivor Series matches. Putting Styles in a match at TLC was great because they needed a great match. In this case, it is not really necessary, but they know he’s a big name that the crowd is going to love. It does throw the idea of the brand extension out the window even if they say Shane and Daniel are doing Kurt a favor. With that said, I am not complaining. Styles on any show is a good thing. He’s the best.

(Commercial)

The bell rang as they returned from break.

Interesting note here is I saw a live event in summer 2016 (before the draft) with Rollins vs. Ambrose vs. Styles as the main event with Dean as WWE Champion and it was amazing.

Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose & AJ Styles vs. Sheamus, Cesaro & The Miz (w/Curtis Axel)

The heels worked over Ambrose early in the match. Rollins got a hot tag with a running dropkick on Cesaro for a two count. The crowd chanted for Styles, so Rollins tagged him in. Styles with a rollup on Cesaro that got a two count. Styles with a kick to Cesaro, Miz distraction and Cesaro drove Styles throat first into the top rope leading to Styles bumping to the floor. That’s the usual “go to commercial” spot, but not yet. Miz booted Styles in the ribs. Styles hit a jawbreaker on Miz. Sheamus and Cesaro knocked Rollins and Ambrose off the apron. It led to all six guys brawling. All three heels were on the floor, so Rollins, Styles and Ambrose hit slingshot dives over the top to the floor to take out the heels. That was cool. There is the floor to commercial spot five minutes into it.

(Commercial)

Back from break, the heels were in control of the match with Sheamus and Cesaro doing a double kick to the gut of Ambrose. Sheamus with knees to the ribs of Ambrose. Cesaro went for a suplex on Ambrose, but Ambrose countered into a suplex of his own. Sheamus tagged in, jumped off the top, Ambrose avoided an attack and hit a bounce off the ropes clothesline. Rollins got the hot tag against Miz with a springboard clothesline followed by Slingblade. Rollins boot to the face of Miz and the Blockbuster off the ropes. Falcon Arrow slam by Rollins got two as Sheamus made the save. Styles with a Pele Kick on Sheamus and everybody was hitting big moves. Hard to get them all, but it was the usual one guy hits a move and then takes another move. Rollins sent Sheamus out of the ring. Miz hit a DDT on Rollins for a two count. Another break in the match 12 minutes into it.

(Commercial)

Back from break, the match continued with Miz hitting Rollins with his weak looking kicks to the chest leading to the final kick not connecting (it never does) and Rollins getting a rollup for two. When you review the shows like me you get used to the exact same spot in every match. Ambrose went after Sheamus leading to them going over the barricade and Ambrose attacked him while they were in the crowd. Styles got the hot tag from Rollins against Cesaro. Running forearm by Styles followed by a corner splash and the Ushigoroshi got a two count for Styles. Ambrose and Sheamus were back at ringside as Sheamus grabbed Styles’ leg. Cesaro lifted Styles up and hit an uppercut, but Rollins made the save. Sheamus missed an attack and hit the ring post. Double clothesline by Seth/Dean followed by a double suicide dive. Cesaro watched all of that, Cesaro turned around and Styles hit a Phenomenal Forearm on Cesaro for the pinfall win after 19 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose & AJ Styles vs. Sheamus, Cesaro & The Miz

Analysis: **** Four stars out of five, which is rare for a TV match. One of the best TV matches this year. Loved it. That was a great match reminding me of The Shield when they were having long six-man tag matches all the time on WWE TV.  Styles fit in very well with his team, which was no surprise since Styles is such an amazing in-ring performer. There were two long sequences where the heels isolated a face first with Ambrose and then with Rollins. The spots that took place leading to the commercials were well done as well. It was a very exciting match with the faces working well together to win. Styles getting the pin was done because he was pinned in his match against Finn Balor at TLC, so it’s an easy way to give momentum back to Styles.

Kane’s music hit while Rollins, Ambrose and Styles were in the ring. Kane took the fight to them. The other heels went back in the ring. Kane sent Styles out of the ring. Kane hit a Chokeslam on Rollins. Kane punched Ambrose and knocked him out of the ring. Fans were chanting for Strowman. Kane’s music played to end it.

Analysis: That was a weird segment. It looked like there was some sort of mix-up in terms of who was supposed to do what. It was noticeable that Styles was dumped out quickly and did nothing after because he has nothing to do with this storyline.

Later on Raw: Asuka makes her Raw debut. Brock Lesnar responds to Jinder Mahal’s challenge for Survivor Series.

(Commercial)

A replay aired of what Kane did before the break.

Highlights aired from TLC showing Kane turning on his partner Braun Strowman leading to the heels dumping Strowman into the garbage truck. Video took about three minutes.

Analysis: This meant that Kane was standing in the ring for about six minutes while nothing happened in the ring. Too bad Raw wasn’t in Knox County where he’s running for mayor, so he could campaign for votes.

The red light was on Kane in the ring. Kane said through hellfire and brimstone, he noted that he wanted competition, he walked away from an ambulance crash, he tossed Big Show through a cage and beat up Roman Reigns time and time again. Kane said they called him a “Monster Among Men.” Kane said he wanted to see him up close, but what he saw was a piece of trash that was 385 pounds of human wreckage. Kane said that he put Strowman where he belonged in the back of a garbage truck. Kane said he saw fear in Strowman that no man had ever caused before. Kane said that he is and will always be Raw’s only monster. Kane said with Braun gone, he wants competition…or else.

Analysis: Good promo from Kane. It’s easy to see his reasoning for why he had a problem with Strowman since he’s been called a “monster” for years and Strowman is called the Monster Among Men. Then again, Kane is a madman that doesn’t need to explain himself either, so he can do what he wants. It’s no surprise that WWE would want to do this feud since Strowman has been getting cheered a lot, so now he can be in the face role against a heel big guy like Kane. Strowman beat Big Show three times in Raw main events and now he will beat Kane in their feud as WWE’s newest dominant big man. The difference with Braun/Show and Braun/Kane is that Braun will be in the face role this time.

Finn Balor’s music started up to answer this challenge. Balor made his way down to the ring in his ring gear. This match is coming up after a break.

Analysis: More standing in the ring for Kane. Lots of standing in a ring for him on this show!

(Commercial)

The bell rang to begin the match at the end of the first hour.

Finn Balor vs. Kane

Kane with a shoulder tackle. Cole said that Braun Strowman could be out “several weeks or months.” I doubt he would be off for Survivor Series. Balor with a double boot to the face followed by a jumping kick to the face. Kane came back with a big boot to the face. Kane with a body slam for two. Balor got momentum back with a running kick while Kane was on the floor and Balor with a running kick while on the apron. Balor back first into the barricade and sent him into the side of the ring apron. They went back in the ring with Kane hitting two corner clotheslines and a sidewalk slam for two. Kane with a hard whip that sent Balor crashing into the turnbuckle. Kane with a forearm to the back. Kane with a weak looking backbreaker and he worked on the back of Balor with a submission move over the knee. Balor went out of the ring and Kane went after him. Balor hit a drop toe hold that sent Kane into the ring steps. Back in the ring, Balor hit a Slingblade followed by the dropkick that sent Kane bouncing into the turnbuckle. Balor on the top rope. Kane grabbed him by the throat, put him in the ring and Kane hit him with a Chokeslam. Kane picked up Balor and hit another Chokeslam. Kane picked up Balor again with a third Chokeslam. Kane pinned Balor for the victory after seven minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Kane

Analysis: **1/4 It was just okay. I don't like Kane beating Balor so easily. Bad move. Balor's a guy that shouldn't be fed to Kane because he needs to be built up. I figured WWE would have Kane beat somebody lower on the babyface totem pole rather than Balor. I think it damages Balor a bit to have him lose so easily. Kane got the win because WWE wants people think to that Kane is as dominant as Strowman is. What surprised me was that Balor looked like a loser that lost in under ten minutes even after he nearly hit his finishing move.

Later on Raw: Brock Lesnar is there and the Raw Survivor Series men’s team will be announced by Angle.

Angle was in his office talking on the phone. Shane McMahon, Smackdown’s Commissioner, showed up to talk to him. Angle asked how he was doing after Hell in a Cell, Shane said he was banged up, but doing fine and praised Angle for his performance at TLC. Angle thanked Shane for letting them have Styles on TLC and on Raw. Angle wanted AJ on Raw full time, but Shane said that’s not going to happen. Kurt talked about the big names that Raw had while mentioning some of the people on Smackdown after Styles and how he didn’t think they would match up. Shane pointed that Smackdown beat Raw last year at Survivor Series and Kurt said he wasn’t the GM last year. Angle asked Shane why he was there. Shane said that he was there to tell Angle that Smackdown will annihilate Raw. Shane told Angle to enjoy the rest of the show and he’ll catch up with him later.

Analysis: That was just a quick segment to push Survivor Series. Nothing too exciting there. It would be a lot better if they were bickering more than talking like old buddies that have known eachother for nearly 20 years, but they are both locked in as faces. (I wrote that without knowing what was going on in the main event! I'll leave it in to just show you what my mindset was when watching live.)

A video aired telling us Asuka is up next.

(Commercial)

There were members of the Green Bay Packers sitting in the front row. Fans chanted “Go Pack Go” for them. Sorry Packers fans for losing Aaron Rodgers. My Los Angeles Rams are doing very well this year. Excited about the rest of the year.

Asuka made her entrance for her first match on Raw. She faces Emma again because Emma asked for a rematch according to Cole and also because WWE loves rematches.

Asuka vs. Emma

Asuka drove Emma’s arm into the top rope. With Emma on the apron, Asuka hit a running hip attack that sent Emma to the floor. They were on the apron with Emma sending Asuka into the ring post. That sounded bad, but it looks like Asuka is okay. Emma hit a butterfly suplex for a two count. Asuka went for an Asuka Lock. They did a spot where Asuka went for a backslide, Emma got out of it and Emma hit a clothesline. Emma whipped Asuka into the turnbuckle two times in a row. Forearm to the face by Emma. Asuka hit a missile dropkick off the second rope to start her comeback. They exchanged punches, Asuka hit a spinning back first and a German suplex. Asuka hit the running hip attack (flying ass) for a two count. It looks better than when Naomi does it. Emma avoided a kick and sent Asuka into the turnbuckle. Rollup by Emma got two. Asuka countered and slapped on the Asuka Lock submission leading to Emma tapping out. Asuka won by submission after five minutes.

Winner by submission: Asuka

Analysis: *1/2 Decent match to put over Asuka in her first match on Raw. The match was about five minutes, so it was half the time of the TLC match, which I thought was too long. This one had Asuka selling for most of the match before making the big comeback. No surprise that Asuka got the win. I like how they did it with Emma getting a pin attempt followed by Asuka hitting her Asuka Lock for the easy tapout win.

Alexa Bliss, the Raw Women’s Champion, was shown walking backstage with the title around her waist and she was in her street clothes. She’s next.

(Commercial)

Let’s Hear From Alexa Bliss

Alexa Bliss walked out to the ring wearing her Raw Women’s Championship around her waist. She was looking great in a leather jacket.

Bliss bragged about beating Mickie James. Bliss said she wanted to put James in the past where she belongs. Bliss talked about how at Survivor Series she has to face the crazy cat lady Natalya. Bliss whined about how week after week she gets zero respect, yet AJ Styles and Finn Balor can stare at eachother for ten minutes while the arena chanted “this is awesome.” Bliss asked where her chant was and where was her appreciation? Bliss wondered if it’s because she’s not old or because she doesn't have a 3-year-old son at home like Mickie James. Bliss said just like Mickie, people are jealous of her. Bliss insulted them by saying since they are in the Midwest, she has to spell things out for them. The fans booed, so she goes: “You’re booing because it’s true.” That was great.

Bliss told the fans to chant “you deserve it” for her. She told them to do it again. The fans booed them. Bliss thought maybe she didn’t go slow enough for them. Bliss held up the title again to boos.

Mickie James interrupted the promo by Bliss. Mickie was wearing street clothes. James kicked her in gut and hit a Mickie-DT on her that looked impressive. The crowd cheered. Mickie stood over Bliss, grabbed the microphone and said: “Alexa, you do deserve it.” Booker praised Mickie for doing that move wearing six inch heels. It was pretty impressive. Mickie left the ring and smiled about what she did while Bliss was out in the ring.

Analysis: That was well done although it was weird to see this story continue after Bliss won clean. Bliss got a lot of heat for that promo while telling the fans to chant something they didn’t want to, so the fans booed and James was loved for going out there. Simple kick and a sweet leaping DDT from James looked awesome. This could set up a match between them possibly on Raw next week or something like that.

Angle was shown watching the action on a monitor backstage. Bayley and Sasha Banks walked in and they were in their ring gear. They congratulated him for his performance at TLC and Bayley hugged him. Alicia Fox walked in to say she should be the captain of Team Raw. Angle said they would do what they always do on Raw and Bayley/Banks said “settle it in the ring.” Fox said “paper, rock, scissors!”  It’s a triple threat match between them and the winner is the captain of Team Raw. Angle told Fox that pinfalls only count in the ring. Fox told him that he’s so silly.

Analysis: The captain’s role in a tag team match really isn’t that important, but Raw is three hours and they have time to fill. It just doesn’t seem like a big deal to me.

Elias was shown walking backstage because he’s up next.

(Commercial)

Elias was in the ring doing his singing routine. He asked who wants to walk with him and the people booed. Elias said that was a strong and that anything is strong compared to Aaron Rodgers’ collarbone. Funny line because Rodgers is the Green Bay Packers quarterback that is out for the year due to a broken collarbone. That led to a “Go Pack Go” chant. Elias said this would be an uninterrupted performance. He told the fans to shut their mouths. There were technical issues as Elias tried to get through his song. Fans chanted “Go Pack Go” as Elias was mad about it. Elias complained about a technician not doing his job and claimed he would beat him up in the ring. That set up the entrance of Jason Jordan, so the idea was that Jordan was messing with the audio.

Analysis: It was a typical Elias segment. At least the fans were into it when he ripped on Rodgers. Cheap heat always works.

Jordan walked down to the ring for the rematch against Elias and they went to break.

(Commercial)

Elias vs. Jason Jordan

They started during the break. Elias slapped on a headlock as Graves tried to rile up Booker like they always do whenever Jordan is in a match. Jordan hit a high angle back suplex to break free as the announcers bickered about the guys in this match. Jordan hit an exploder suplex followed by a belly to belly suplex. Jordan drove Elias back first into the barricade. Jordan sent Elias against another part of the barricade two times in a row. Jordan charged in for another attack, but Elias nailed Jordan with a guitar shot to the shoulder of Jordan. That led to the disqualification after about three minutes.

Winner by disqualification: Jason Jordan

Analysis: 3/4* Cheap finish that put an end to a boring match. The match at TLC wasn’t good between them either. At least this had a more memorable finish that was done to keep the feud going.

Post match, referees and fake doctors checked on Jordan’s left shoulder. Elias walked away looking proud of himself. There was a welt on the left triceps of Jordan. There was a closeup of Jordan’s left arm that is scarred up from the guitar.

Analysis: Stuff like that is done to try to get sympathy heat for Jordan. Will it work? Not sure. The fans are responding to him a bit more, but not enough.

Lesnar and Heyman up next.

(Commercial)

Brock Lesnar, Raw’s Universal Champion, made his entrance with his advocate Paul Heyman. They haven’t been on Raw for about two months, so welcome back. A clip aired of Jinder Mahal from last week’s Smackdown when he challenged Lesnar to a match at Survivor Series.

Let’s Hear From Brock Lesnar…But Really It’s Paul Heyman

Heyman did the introduction for himself and his client, Brock Lesnar. Heyman said that somebody has a problem with the word “undisputed” and this same someone who is over on Smackdown Live, has barely survived the title challenge of Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura. Heyman said the same someone was sitting around trying to survive the title challenge of AJ Styles. Meanwhile, here on Raw, Brock Lesnar has gone through the single most stacked heavyweight division in WWE and it’s undisputed.

Heyman said it’s undisputed that we live in the age of trash talking. Heyman said people want to run down opponents and hurl insults at opponent’s families. Heyman spoke about how he’s the king of the trash talk. Heyman said that even though the people clamor for him to trash talk, he doesn’t do it because any man that goes in the ring to fight Lesnar must be a real man. Heyman noted he didn’t trash talk Goldberg, Samoa Joe or Braun Strowman.

Heyman called Jinder Mahal the “make believe” Maharajah with the “Sing-A-Long” Brothers introducing Heyman’s schtick of introducing him. Heyman said that Mahal is not a worthy pretender to the throne of being the WWE Champion. Heyman said when we think of WWE Champions we think of Bruno Sammartino, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Ric Flair, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, John Cena and…Brock Lesnar. (He could have mentioned many more like Bret Hart, Steve Austin and The Rock too.) Heyman said we don’t think of Jinder Mahal as a great WWE Champion. Heyman called Jinder a consolation prize champion offered to SD Live when Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan realized they got the shaft in the Superstar Shake-up.  Heyman said don’t think that Lesnar is waving the flag of Raw at Survivor Series. Heyman said there is no brand supremacy because the brand that has Brock Lesnar is on is the place to be in WWE. That’s undisputed, says Heyman.

Heyman told Jinder Mahal that he’s going to Suplex City at Survivor Series. Heyman said that the last time a Smackdown superstar stepped in the ring to fight Lesnar, they had to stop the match. Heyman added that the locker room was in shock. Why? Because on that night Lesnar violated every rule and boundary of the PG era. (He was referring to Lesnar vs. Randy Orton at SummerSlam 2016 without saying his name.)

Heyman said that the Mahal challenge was accepted by Lesnar and did a big announcement of Lesnar’s name. Lesnar just stared ahead while Heyman spoke. Lesnar quickly left up the ramp as if he’s got a late-night flight home, which he probably did.

Analysis: It was a typically great Heyman promo where he likes to heavily push one word. In this case it was “undisputed.” Heyman put over Lesnar as being a dominant champion while laughing at Mahal. The way Heyman spoke was similar to how a lot of people feel about Mahal because he is booked a like a joke. As Heyman said, normally he builds up Lesnar opponents because he respects them, but not Mahal. The insults by Heyman work because he’s the face with Lesnar against the heel Mahal. I’d be surprised if Lesnar loses there.

Images were shown of Enzo Amore winning back the Cruiserweight Title against Kalisto at TLC.

Kalisto was interviewed by Charly Caruso. Kalisto said that he’s getting his Cruiserweight Title rematch at 205 Live on Tuesday. Kalisto was joined by his four partners for a ten man tag match coming up and he led them in a "lucha" chant.

Bayley vs. Banks vs. Fox is up next.

(Commercial)

The women made their entrance for the triple threat match.

Sasha Banks vs. Bayley vs. Alicia Fox

The winner of this will be the captain of Team Raw’s women’s team at Survivor Series.

Fox hit her Northern Lights suplex on each woman for two counts. Fox lightly tossed Bayley out of the ring. Bayley got back in the ring and they each hit dropkicks that sent Fox out of the ring. Fox did a comic run across the ring as the other two women tossed her out of the ring. Fox on the apron, so the other women dropkicked her to send her to the floor.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Fox had Banks in a chinlock. Banks broke free with a headscissors. Banks went to the top, Fox took too long to try to take her down, so Bayley joined the fray for the Powerbomb on Fox while Fox did a suplex on Banks in the Tower of Doom spot, which happens in nearly every three-way match. Bayley neckbreaker against the ropes for a two count. Fox with a back elbow followed by a boot to the face for two. Crowd is dead for this. Fox yelled: “I don’t want to play this game.” The crowd was dead. Fox grabbed the ring bell and hit it several times to annoy people. Booker said the match was over, but it’s not. I think Booker knew how bad this was haha. Please end this. Please. Bayley hit Bayley to Belly on Fox, but Banks broke up the pin. Bayley hit a back suplex on Banks to zero reaction. Fox snuck up behind Bayley and imitated Bayley. Fox hit a belly to belly on Bayley, which is her finisher. Banks tripped up Fox and applied the Bank Statement submission. Fox tried crawling to the ropes, but there were no disqualifications or countouts as Cole noted. Bayley was on the apron, Fox whipped Bayley into Banks and Fox pinned Bayley for the win after 12 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Alicia Fox

Analysis: *1/4 This was bad. Boring match that went way too long based on how lame it was. I’m so sick of triple threats. They do so many of the same spots every time and they happen nearly every week. The crowd was dead for this, which shows how badly Bayley and Banks have been booked because of them used to be so popular. Finish was weak because it was just a collision of the face girls leading to the Fox win. It’s not like it really matters who the captain is, but I guess they are going to try to make us care in the next month. Keep in mind that Fox lost to Banks a bunch of times, so fans think of Fox as a loser even after she won here.

Post match, Fox kissed the cheek of the referee. Replays were shown of the finish. Fox celebrated with members of the Packers at ringside.

Crusierweights are up next.

(Commercial)

The five-man team of Enzo Amore, Drew Gulak, Tony Nese, Noam Dar and Ariya Daivairi entered the ring. Since Enzo had a sore throat, Gulak read the Enzo promo that was on a clipboard. It was a nerdy way of reading it. Gulak said that Kalisto was a bigger letdown than the Green Bay Packers. Another “Go Pack Go” chant started. Gulak said that Enzo was like Anthony Barr and Kalisto was Aaron Rodgers (Barr was the guy that injured Rodgers). That drew heat. They did the “SAWFT” thing with each guy saying a letter.

Analysis: That was amusing Gulak doing the Enzo promo by reading it. Not hilarious, but I laughed a bit.

Enzo Amore, Tony Nese, Noam Dar, Ariya Daivari & Drew Gulak vs. Kalisto, Cedric Alexander, Rich Swann, Gran Metalik & Mustafa Ali

Metalik was on fire with his aerial moves including a sweet arm drag and a dropkick off the middle ropes. The face cleared the five heels from the ring. Gulak told the faces it was a no fly zone, so the faces hit a superkick on Gulak to knock him down.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Dar had Swann in an armbar. The action broke down so that nearly everybody in the match was on the floor after they got into a big brawl out there. Swann nailed an enziguri on Daivari, which led to Daivari bumping into Enzo to tag him in. Kalisto got the hot tag to no reaction. Kick to the head by Kalisto, running knee to the gut and a kick to the head got a two count. Heels make the save. Faces tossed them out. Enzo sent Kalisto into the top turnbuckle and hit the DDT off the ropes for a two count as the faces saved Kalisto. Alexander and Ali hit somersault dives outside the ring. Metalik hit a moonsault off the top while Swann hit a 450 Splash off the top. Kalisto hit Salida del Sol on Enzo for the pinfall win after about nine minutes. The crowd was dead for most of it although they chanted for the pin. It went nine minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Kalisto, Cedric Alexander, Rich Swann, Gran Metalik & Mustafa Ali

Analysis: **1/4 Good effort by everybody involved, but the crowd really had no interest in it. Even with the exciting finish with four huge dives with guys going to the floor, the crowd barely cared. I feel bad for the wrestlers putting their bodies on the line like that and there’s barely a response. Kalisto getting the win was done to give him momentum going into the 205 Live title rematch that Enzo will win.

Kurt Angle was shown walking backstage because he’s up next.

(Commercial)

Let’s Hear From Kurt Angle

Kurt Angle made his entrance for the main event spot. The reaction for him wasn’t nearly what it was three hours earlier because this show is too long and the crowd was clearly tired.

Angle talked about how they are excited about Survivor Series. Angle talked about how the Raw champions will face Smackdown champions. Also, there will be elimination tags with Raw women and men against Smackdown women and men. Angle was about to introduce some of the men on the Raw team, but Shane McMahon’s music interrupted.

Shane McMahon, the Smackdown Commissioner, entered through the crowd as he was followed by most of the Smackdown roster who were wearing blue and white Smackdown Live t-shirts.

Shane was joined by most of the Smackdown roster including The New Day, Baron Corbin, AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamaura, Mojo Rawley, Tye Dillinger, Dolph Ziggler, Rusev, Chad Gable, Bobby Roode, Becky Lynch, Natalya, Carmella and more. No sign of Jinder Mahal, Sami Zayn, Randy Orton, Kevin Owens (he’s home for personal reasons), Charlotte Flair and some others.

Shane got in the ring with Angle as the Smackdown roster surrounded the ring. Shane said: “Under Siege.” Angle left the ring and went to the back. Shane told the “blue team” to go get them. The Smackdown roster walked together as a group up the ramp and headed backstage. The announcers were freaking out about it.

The Smackdown crew walked up to Titus O’Neil and Apollo Crews backstage. They beat them up easily. Rusev nailed a superkick on Crews. Corbin went up to a stagehand backstage and threw him into some object that we couldn’t see. Roode and Dillinger knocked over a TV screen that was backstage. The women from SD scared of some women that were back there including Dana Brooke running away in a manner that made me laugh. Raw midcarders like Goldust, Curt Hawkins, Curtis Axel and Rhyno got beat up by the Smackdown guys.

The Smackdown talent went into the locker room. Jason Jordan was there and his former partner Chad Gable attacked him. Others joined in. They also beat up Matt Hardy and others. They went into another locker room where guys like Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson were. Elias was in that room too. Raw women like Mickie James, Bayley, Alicia Fox and Sasha Banks were in a hallway.  No Asuka. The Smackdown women stepped up and they beat them up in the hallway they were in.

Shane McMahon was shown in the ring nodding approvingly as the fans booed.

Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose tried to attack the Smackdown guys as they had chairs in their hands, but it didn’t work. Styles worked over Ambrose with punches. Corbin and Rusev grabbed Kurt Angle by his arms and made him look at Dean and Seth out on the floor.

The Smackdown superstars brought Angle out to the ring where Shane McMahon was in the ring waiting for them.

Angle had a serious look on his face. Shane stared at him again like he had done a few minutes earlier.

Shane to Kurt: “At Survivor Series, I want you to bring your gold medal, what’s left of your Raw roster and we’re all going to finish what we started. Oh it’s true, it’s damn true.” I thought there might a punch or slap there, but there was nothing. Shane just left the ring.

The Smackdown talent left through the crowd as Shane McMahon’s music played. Angle just stared straight ahead looking stunned by what happened. Booker T said he had never seen anything like this in his 26 years in the business even though he was a big part of the WCW Invasion from 2001.

The show ended as Shane’s music played, Smackdown talent was shown leaving through the crowd and Angle was left in the ring speechless.

Analysis: It was a huge angle that was done to build up interest for Survivor Series by trying to put the brands against eachother at a time when most of the show is going to be made up of Raw vs. Smackdown matches. The great thing about it is that there's a big storyline going into Survivor Series, which really needed something like this.

What’s weird about this is you had faces and heels from Smackdown working together as if they don’t have any problems whatsoever. It’s going to be tough for some viewers to buy into this because we know that guys like AJ Styles and Baron Corbin feuded recently, yet they were part of this thing. Bobby Roode and Dolph Ziggler is a current rivalry that is going on, but they worked together. Those logic holes are going to hurt this story because we are supposed to think Dolph and Bobby don’t like eachother on Tuesdays and then we see them getting along swimmingly. I know it’s pro wrestling. Don’t think too much when you watch. I’m just saying that’s what some fans are going to think and I don’t think they are wrong to feel that way.

The idea that these people want to work together to have Smackdown win more matches at Survivor Series is fine with me because it’s much better than just having matches that mean nothing. The next thing WWE needs to do is reward winners with title shots or coveted spots in the Royal Rumble. Just do something to make winning more matches at Survivor Series feel like a bigger deal than it would be if it was just a regular show with no storyline.

With all of that said, I applaud WWE for trying some sort of storyline to try to make Raw vs. Smackdown matches more interesting. This should bring some intensity to the story and hopefully make the rivalry more intense. I assume the Raw crew will be on Smackdown perhaps this week or maybe next week. It's going to be tough for the Smackdown talent to be on Raw all the time since Smackdown usually has a live event on Mondays.

What’s important is that Smackdown’s talent does their part to explain why they did what they did and why they fought alongside people they don’t get along with. I know a lot of them are posting videos on social media for it, but it needs to be more than that. If they try to explain it on Smackdown then it means a lot more.

It’s also worth noting that some Raw talent wasn’t beat up. Guys like Brock Lesnar, who earlier had Paul Heyman said he had no interest in brand superiority battles. Also no Miz, Sheamus, Cesaro, Kane and some others.

If you want to see everybody that was involved on the Smackdown team, here’s a pic that Zack Ryder posted of the Smackdown talent.

The Smackdown talent are using #UnderSiege on Twitter and some are doing promos on their phones to try to add to the storyline.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. AJ Styles, Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose
  2. The Miz, Sheamus & Cesaro

No 3 spot since I already picked six people.

 

The Scoreboard

5.5 out of 10

Last week: 6.5

2017 Average: 5.85

Average since brand split starting July 25/16: 5.86 (Smackdown is 6.61)

Last 5 Weeks: 6.5, 5.5, 4.5, 5, 5

2017 High: 8 (April 3)

2017 Low: 4 (Jan. 9, Feb. 27 & June 12)

 

Final Thoughts

I give it a 5.5 out of 10.

Tough show to rate because in terms of the big angle at the end I really liked it and the first match was outstanding. The rest of the show was below average. That’s why I feel like the 5.5 out of 10 score is fair because it’s really just for the six-man tag and the Smackdown invasion because those were fun moments. The rest of the show had some decent segments and also bad moments to help fill three hours.

I’m intrigued by Smackdown tomorrow in terms of how WWE chooses to follow up on this show ending angle and if the Raw crew will be on Smackdown or if it happens next week.

The next WWE PPV is Survivor Series on Sunday, November 19. Here’s what we know.

Universal Champion Brock Lesnar vs. WWE Champion Jinder Mahal

Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. United States Champion Baron Corbin

Raw Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose vs. Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Usos

Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss vs. Smackdown Women’s Champion Natalya

Raw’s 5 men vs. Smackdown’s 5 men

Raw’s 5 women captained by Alicia Fox vs. Smackdown’s 5 women

There will probably be some singles matches between people that are on the same brand, so Braun Strowman vs. Kane is likely as well.

---

That's all for this week. See ya next time for the Smackdown review.

Go Los Angeles Rams, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs.

You can contact me using any of the methods below. Thanks for reading.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport

Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling on Facebook

 

 




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