This week’s Raw is the follow up to the WWE No Mercy PPV from Los Angeles. I thought it was a pretty good show although the main event was disappointing considering how much hype there was going into it. Here’s my in-depth No Mercy review, here’s another column I wrote about No Mercy for The Comeback that focuses on booking decisions and a third article that focused the Reigns/Cena match that saw Reigns kick out of several Cena finishers, which led to some bitching by fans online.
As we head towards Raw’s next PPV TLC on October 22, it’s not expected that Brock Lesnar and John Cena will be on television over the next month since they are missing that show. Two big names gone, so it’s up to the others to step up.
Live from Ontario, California this is the Raw Deal for episode #1270. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.
Miz TV with Roman Reigns as the guest
Raw began with Miz TV with Intercontinental Champion The Miz in the ring along with his Miztourage of Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas. Miz celebrated the fact that he’s still the Intercontinental Champion and said he’d celebrate with his wife pregnant wife Maryse after the show.
Miz introduced Roman Reigns, who was the announced guest from one night earlier at No Mercy. Reigns made his entrance to mostly boos in the ring.
Reigns and Miz sat on chairs in the ring while Axel and Dallas stood behind him. Reigns said "we like it loud" for the crowd response. Miz told Reigns it's been a big year when he retired Undertaker at WrestleMania and beat John Cena at No Mercy. Miz said that on Raw Talk, Cena said it was a "passing of the torch" moment and asked Reigns how it felt hearing that.
Reigns said: "I respect John Cena now." Reigns said that Cena said a lot of stuff to him and he backed it up in that ring. Reigns put over Cena for saying he held the fort down for 15 years and there's not another top guy that can say that. Reigns said that's why he's proud to say that he beat Cena. Reigns called it the biggest win of his entire career. Reigns wondered why he had to be out there talking to an idiot like The Miz.
The Miz mocked Reigns being called "The Guy" and told him that Miz is The Guy because he's the one in the ring with a championship. Miz said he proved that Jason Jordan is a loser and that he's that guy. Reigns said that he's been in the ring with Miz and Jordan and that Jordan is a thoroughbred that Miz can't beat Jordan one on one without those guys. Reigns told Dallas or Axel to go get him a cold beer. Miz said they don't drink on Miz TV because it's a classy establishment.
Miz said it's ironic coming from Reigns because he was helped by two other guys and The Miz said if The Miztourage was around five years ago nobody would hear of The Shield. Heels lie, my friends. Miz asked him what would happen if the Miztourage faced The Shield. The fans chanted "yes" for it and Reigns said that they would whoop their ass no problem. Reigns said that Dean and Seth are doing their own thing and Reigns has his own, which is the Universal Championship and he's going after Brock Lesnar. Miz talked about Reigns disrespecting him mentioning another champion in front of Miz.
Miz talked about how Reigns got beat by guys like Samoa Joe, Braun Strowman, Brock Lesnar and reminded Reigns he lost to Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. Miz said this is the title to have, he's the man to beat and he will not be disrespected. Reigns said: "Alright, let's do it." Miz asked him what. Reigns said: "Let's run it, let's fight." Miz said no. Reigns asked the crowd and the crowd cheered. Miz pointed out that he has a suit on and a pregnant wife at home that needs him. Miz left the ring with Axel and Dallas.
Kurt Angle's music hit as the Raw General Manager made the predictable interruption to the "you suck" chants out of respect.
Angle told Miz to tell Maryse he's going to be home a little late tonight. Angle said that he loved the idea of a Miz vs. Reigns match tonight. Angle told Axel and Dallas they have a match right now. Angle noted that Jeff Hardy's shoulder is busted up, but Matt Hardy is going to team up with Kurt's son Jason Jordan. Miz and his boys were mad while Angle's music played to end it.
Analysis: Miz was excellent here. Best talker in WWE. Roman did well too. It's a typical Raw opening segment that was done to set up a main event match for later as well as a match after the break. It's funny how the fans hated Reigns for the most part during that promo, but once Miz mentioned The Shield and the possibility of them together, the crowd loved it. You have to know WWE is aware of that and they know that in order to get Reigns cheered like they want, putting The Shield back together at least briefly is a viable option that we will probably see later this year.
Matt Hardy made his entrance for the tag match and had his brother Jeff Hardy with him. Jeff needs shoulder on his right shoulder. There was a video from Raw last week on Raw where Jeff took part in a Tower of Doom Powerbomb spot out of the corner with Jeff landing hard.
Analysis: Actual story is Jeff got hurt in July, worked through it and the injury got worse. Jeff may be out six months because that's typical for that kind of surgery, but we don't know for sure yet because surgery is next week.
Jason Jordan made his entrance to very little reaction.
Matt Hardy & Jason Jordan (w/Jeff Hardy) vs. Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas
Jordan did a waistlock takedown on Dallas. Axel tagged in and Jordan drove him back first into two turnbuckles. Northern Lights suplex by Jordan got a two count. Matt with a side Russian legsweep on Axel followed by leg drops on Axel. Matt hit a Tornado DDT on Axel out of the corner. Jordan with a dropkick that knocked Dallas out of the ring as the show went to break a few minutes into the match.
Back from break, the heels were in control of the action as Axel hit a clothesline on Jordan on the floor. Dallas hit a corner clothesline and Axel hit a knee to the face in a combo move that got a two count on Jordan. There was a spot where Jordan dumped Axel out of the ring, so Dallas threw Axel back in. Hardy tagged in against Dallas with Matt sending Dallas into the turnbuckle repeatedly. Corner clothesline from Matt followed by a bulldog for two. Matt with an elbow off the ropes followed by a neckbreaker for two. Dallas got a rollup for two and Matt hit the Side Effect for two as Axel made the save. Jordan sent Axel into the corner and Jordan hit a shoulder tackle on both heels. Belly to belly by Jordan on Axel. Hardy hit the Twist of Fate on Dallas for the pinfall win after about ten minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Matt Hardy & Jason Jordan
Analysis: **1/2 It was an average tag match to put over the temporary face team of Hardy and Jordan. The Miztourage duo are mostly there to just put over the faces, so that's what they did like usual. Matt did a good job on offense after getting the hot tag. Typical tag match. Nothing out of the ordinary. The bad part about a match like that is there were no spots where it looked like Bo and Curtis might win.
Later is Reigns vs. Miz and up next some images of Lesnar vs. Strowman from No Mercy.
The announce team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Booker T pretended to give a shit about Total Bellas while telling us it's on USA Network after the show. Oh those poor USA Network viewers.
Images were shown from Brock Lesnar's win over Braun Strowman at No Mercy on Sunday. Match was okay, but not as good as it could have been. It should have been a No Holds Barred type match that allowed them to brawl more and they should have got more time too.
Elias was in the ring to perform one of his songs. It was the typical thing where he asked, "Who wants to walk with Elias?" He noted there's an encore match against Apollo Crews in case you missed No Mercy. Fans chanted "what?" at him. Elias did a song ripping on Crews and trashed the town as well.
Apollo Crews made his entrance with Titus O'Neil to no reaction.
Elias vs. Apollo Crews (w/Titus O'Neil)
The crowd was dead for the first two minutes until Crews opened up with a dropkick, kick to the head and a leaping clothesline. There was a mild reaction for it as Crews hit a leaping kick to the head that knocked Elias out of the ring. Crews hit a slingshot attack over the top onto Elias on the floor. Crews celebrated with Titus, so Elias kicked Titus in the leg. Back in the ring, Elias kicked Crews. Elias hit his Drift Away neckbreaker for the pinfall win after three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Elias
Analysis: 1/2* Poor match that made Crews look like a loser because he lost to two moves. Elias matches continue to bore me.
Post match, Elias kicked O'Neil again and O'Neil fired back with punches. Elias left the ring as O'Neil checked on Crews.
Analysis: Should we get hyped for Elias vs. Titus? I can't say I care just like the crowd in this match. At least the crowd cared a bit about Titus.
Up next on Raw is "The Extraordinary" Finn Balor. Is that his new nickname? I don't think it's a good fit.
Finn Balor was interviewed by Charly Caruso backstage in the interview area. Balor thanked Bray Wyatt for doubting him as a man and pushing him to the limits to conjure up strength. Balor said he wants Bray to celebrate a sense of humility for Balor, Goldust and others. Balor said now he can go back to where wanted to go since he came back...to reclaim the Universal Championship.
Analysis: Balor getting into the Universal Championship picture is a good thing. Good call to move him up the ladder for that.
Curt Hawkins was in the ring saying that September 25, 2017 is a night we'll remember forever. Hawkins said he's sick of being the guy on the 118 match losing streak and noted that it ends tonight. Who wants to make history with Hawkins? It's Braun Strowman.
Strowman marched down to the ring looking angry. Hawkins left the ring and tried to run to the back, but Strowman went after him. Strowman picked up Hawkins and gave him a Chokeslam through a table. Strowman launched Balor onto the stage. Strowman put Hawkins on his shoulder and gave Hawkins a Running Powerslam through the screen at the top of the stage. Refs checked on Hawkins. Strowman went into the ring. Crowd was going crazy for it while the camera focused on shocked faces in the crowd.
Analysis: Wow. Huge spot to put over Strowman as an angry monster among men that destroyed poor Hawkins.
Strowman said that after last night he is on a path of destruction and he is not leaving there until somebody gives him a fight.
Dean Ambrose's music hit as one half of the tag Team Champions entered to face off with Lesnar. Ambrose looked at Hawkins down in a heap and Ambrose still walked down to the ring. Ambrose had his left shoulder taped up as well because he hurt it a bit at No Mercy. The show went to break as Ambrose made his entrance.
Analysis: It was the end of the first hour, so that set up an impromptu big match.
The bell rang as they returned from break.
Braun Strowman vs. Dean Ambrose
Strowman shoved Ambrose down followed by a hard whip into the turnbuckle. Strowman picked up Ambrose, drove him into the turnbuckle and Ambrose slapped Strowman in the face to make the big man even more angry. Ambrose tried a sleeper, Strowman got out of it and Strowman hit a clothesline in the corner. Strowman hit Ambrose with headbutts with Ambrose selling it like a big deal. Strowman worked on the bandaged left arm of Ambrose with an armbar. Ambrose tried to fight back, but Strowman hit a clothesline to send him out of the ring. Ambrose managed to knee Strowman in the back to send Braun into the ring post. Back in the ring, Ambrose avoided a charge that sent Strowman to the floor. Ambrose went for a suicide dive, Strowman caught him and Ambrose hit a DDT on the floor. That was a great spot executed well with Strowman selling it perfectly. Back in the ring, Ambrose got a nearfall. Ambrose hit two clotheslines, Strowman charged at him, Ambrose moved and Strowman hit the ring post. Ambrose up top, he jumped off, Strowman caught him and Strowman hit the Powerslam for the pinfall win after six minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Braun Strowman
Analysis: **1/4 Fun while it lasted. It was a predictable match with Strowman taking out his frustrations out on the wild man Ambrose, who has no fear. That was the kind of match that fit the character traits of Ambrose as a guy that isn’t smart, but is always willing to smart. No surprise that Strowman got the win the way he did to give him some momentum back after losing to Lesnar at No Mercy. The DDT on the floor spot was great.
Coming up later: Roman Reigns vs. The Miz.
Kurt Angle was in the office talking to a referee and instructing him to keep an eye on the Miztourage. Enzo Amore showed up with the Cruiserweight Championship. Enzo talked about doing a “celebratory bruhaha” and wanted a Certified G Championship Celebration. Angle said the way Enzo won wasn’t celebration worthy. Enzo said that every championship deserves a celebration and Angle said okay he can have it. Angle offered some advice for Enzo for his first championship, but Enzo walked away saying no, he’s good.
Analysis: Enzo is a cocky champion already that’s disrespecting Kurt Angle. Interesting way to book him. Seems natural for him too.
Alexa Bliss was shown walking backstage.
Dean Ambrose was in pain in the locker room. Seth Rollins showed up with ice for his shoulder. Rollins said that next time Ambrose wants to pick a fight with Rollins, he should let him know. Ambrose told Rollins to be less predictable. Rollins wanted to prove he’s unpredictable by saying he’s going to ask Kurt Angle for a match with Braun Strowman next week. Rollins talked about his match with Sheamus later and Dean said he’ll be watching.
Let’s Hear From Alexa Bliss
Alexa Bliss, the Raw Women’s Champion, entered to a good reaction. She was not in her ring gear. Leather pants are wonderful.
Bliss said that she thinks of the fans as her friends and said she’s disappointed in them. Bliss bragged about beating four women last night that are future Hall of Famers Emma, Sasha Banks, Bayley and Nia Jax. She said she was expecting to see congratulations on social media, but no it was full of nonsense and gossip. She noted that people were just talking about Sasha and Bayley or wondering what Asuka might do for her debut at TLC (crowd popped for that). Bliss said that people are fascinated with what might happen tomorrow that they don’t appreciate being in the presence of a goddess right now. Bliss bragged about how she cleaned out the entire women’s division and she’s the goddess of WWE. Here’s Mickie James with the interruption.
Mickie James was looking amazing like usual. She wasn’t in her ring gear either. James said that Bliss had a great night, but she noted that she wasn’t in the match, so Bliss didn’t beat her. Mickie was in the ring with Bliss. Mickie said that Bliss went on Raw Talk and had some real talk. Mickie told Bliss to say it again and tell all those people what she thinks Mickie is. Bliss said that she respects Mickie while telling her that she was one of her favorites when she was a little girl. Bliss joked that James was even one of her top eight on Myspace back when Myspace was relevant. The crowd let out a “ohhh” to that. Mickie encouraged her to say what she said on Raw Talk. Bliss said that Mickie has a “couple” of fans that say she’s still got it. Bliss claimed it was great that Mickie’s demographic has somebody to represent them. Bliss continued the insults saying she respects Mickie, but she doesn’t want to see her break a hip.
Mickie called Alexa “little girl” and Mickie said she knows who she is, she is Mickie James. Mickie reminded her that she’s a six-time Women’s Champion saying she has broken bones, broken hearts and she was breaking barriers for women in WWE all before Bliss was wearing a training bra. Loud “ooohhh” reaction for that with Bliss selling it perfectly with a stunned look on her face. Mickie followed up: “Which is obviously still working out well for you.” Great line. Mickie wanted Bliss to repeat what she said on Raw Talk and to do it like a real woman to her face. Mickie told her to say it or get out of her ring because this ring is no place for a coward. Bliss said to Mickie: “Mickie, you are an old lady.” Mickie slapped her twice and kicked her in the face. Bliss rolled out to the floor. Mickie stood in the ring proudly as her music played to end it.
Analysis: That was great. Both of them did well and the material was well written too. I’m so happy that Mickie finally got a chance to cut a meaningful promo because they haven’t given her anything to do on Raw that meant something until this moment. Keeping Mickie on the sideline for months pissed me off, but at least it can set up a fresh feud with Bliss that hopefully leads to a title match at TLC. Each woman had some good lines in there with Bliss driving home the point about Mickie’s age while Mickie had that awesome line about the training bra. If you’re wondering, Mickie is 38 and has been in the business for nearly 20 years. Bliss is 26. Mickie is older than most women in WWE, but still can go and has a lot of fans that want to see her do well. I'm happy for her. She really deserves it.
Rollins vs. Sheamus up next.
There was a plug for WWEAuction.com with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon signing a WWE Title that you can bid for with proceeds going to ConnorsCure.com and WWE’s efforts to support cancer research for children. Remember when Stephanie McMahon was the Commissioner of this show? I don't miss her.
Seth Rollins made his entrance alone since fellow Raw Tag Team Champion Dean Ambrose is selling the loss from Braun Strowman.
Sheamus was with Cesaro. They noted that Cesaro was dealing with the teeth injury where his teeth were moved into his gums about 3-4 inches and he’ll need surgery. Cesaro was in a suit at ringside and his mouth had stitches around it. Great tag match on Sunday.
Seth Rollins vs. Sheamus
Sheamus missed a corner charge early on and hit the ring post. Rollins capitalized with a suicide dive that sent Sheamus into the barricade. Back in the ring, Sheamus hit the Irish Curse backbreaker followed by a suplex for two. They battled over a move and Sheamus hit a Powerbomb for a two count. Sheamus slapped on a Texas Cloverleaf. Sheamus hit a hard kick while on the apron. You could tell Sheamus slapped his thigh to make the noise, but it still sounds good. Sheamus went for a Brogue Kick, Rollins avoided it, Sheamus kicked him down and up top for some move. Rollins kick to the face and Rollins hit his knee to the face finisher for the victory after about five minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Seth Rollins
They did a slow motion replay of the knee to the face by Rollins that made it look even more devastating.
Analysis: **1/4 Quick match that was exciting for the time they were given. The story was that both guys were sore from the awesome tag from Sunday, so they didn’t get as much time for this match. Sheamus was on offense for most of the match with Rollins getting in that kick and knee for the win.
Up next are highlights from Reigns vs. Cena at No Mercy.
Finn Balor was shown walking backstage and bumped into Goldust, who he called Goldy. Goldust said “it’s Goldust” and said he knows Finn is extraordinary, but told Balor he shouldn’t take shots at his expense and that he’s not a victim. Goldust said he didn’t need help because he can do it on his own. Finn said he respects Goldust, considers him a friend and he apologized. Goldust said he’s sorry, extended his fist, Finn bumped the fist and Goldust punched him. Goldust tossed him into some wall backstage. Goldust punched Balor: “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” while noting it was a Godfather 2 quote. Goldust left.
Analysis: Goldust is a heel that was booked like a face against Bray Wyatt recently, so this was done to re-establish Goldust as a heel and set up a match for later. It was fine other than Goldust going out of his way to call Balor “extraordinary” because that’s the word WWE is using for Balor.
They showed images from Reigns vs. Cena at No Mercy while audio from the announce team played. It focused on Reigns kicking out of the Attitude Adjustment three times after Cena did it four times. Reigns came back with a Superman Punch and a Spear (second one if you count the table spot) for the win.
A clip aired of Cena on Raw Talk saying he wanted to try to bring something out of Reigns. Cena said he was beaten by a better man in Reigns and said that Reigns has earned his respect. Cena said that it felt like a giant burden was lifted on his shoulders in the best way of possible. Cena said he’s 40 years old with 15 years experience at an elite level and he has no idea how long he can keep it up. Cena said he’s not done, but “I don’t know if I can keep going at the pace I’ve been going.” Cena said if there is this mythical torch then you saw Roman Reigns take it. Cena said thanks to the WWE Universe for being so unbelievably generous while noting things are changing for him, but he couldn’t be more appreciative.
Analysis: Good video package to put over the story that WWE tried to tell with Cena “passing the torch” to Reigns. I don’t know if the average fan feels that way, but that’s what WWE wants us to think. That was the whole point of the match. Talk shit to make it feel personal and then do the common “I respect him” thing after the match. We’ve seen it many times in wrestling. The comments from Cena talking about his future were done because he’s part-timer as we know and he’s not expected to be back until Survivor Series in two months. I assume he’ll be on TV before that, but his movie commitments are going to keep him busy.
Roman Reigns vs. The Miz up next against halftime of the NFL game that was on.
Reigns made his entrance. It wasn’t a loud reaction because this was a small crowd. Boos sure, but not that bad. Louder ones at No Mercy that’s for sure.
The Miz entered with the IC Title along with his buddies Axel and Dallas.
Roman Reigns vs. The Miz (w/Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas)
This is not for the Intercontinental Title held by The Miz, which should tell you who’s going to win.
Miz offered a pre-match handshake. Reigns shook it, Miz tried to leave and Reigns decked him with an uppercut to knock him out of the ring. Miz stalled for a bit. They went back in the ring with Reigns hitting a shoulder tackle. Dallas pulled back Roman’s neck against the top rope to work on the back, so Miz took advantage on offense. Reigns decked Miz with a punch to the face, but Miz sent Reigns out of the ring. Miz distracted the ref, so Axel and Dallas sent Reigns back first into the barricade. The story was that Reigns had a bad back after taking four Attitude Adjustments from Cena at No Mercy. The crowd chanted “Let’s go Roman/Roman Sucks” as Miz took control in the ring with two corner dropkicks. Miz went for a third one, but Reigns countered with a Samoan Drop for a two count. Reigns took over with several clotheslines including ten of them in the corner and a running kick to the face by Reigns knocked Miz down. Axel distracted Reigns, so Miz hit a running clothesline in the corner. Miz hit his weak looking kicks to the chest (watch Shinsuke Nakamura or Daniel Bryan do them much better) and as usual, the last kick didn’t work as Reigns caught him. Reigns decked Miz with a Superman Punch and knocked down Dallas and Axel with punches since they were on the apron. Miz rolled to the floor. Reigns hit the Drive By kick to knock down Dallas and Axel. Back in the ring, Miz with a kick to the face followed by a DDT for two. The announcers thought that was it even though Miz never wins with a DDT. Miz wanted the Skull Crushing Finale, Roman shoved him down to get out of it and Reigns hit a Spear for the win after 9 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Roman Reigns
Analysis: **3/4 Solid match with no doubt about who was going to get the win because having Reigns lose to Miz would have been a huge surprise. Reigns did a good job of selling the back injury during the match to tell the story that he was banged up. Reigns is better at selling than people think. Finish was simple with Reigns avoiding the Skull Crushing Finale and hitting the Spear for the predictable win. It was also a match where the champion lost non-title, which is a common booking move that WWE does far too often.
Post match, Axel and Dallas attacked Reigns from behind with punches and kicks. Reigns fought back against all three heels by knocking Axel and Dallas out of the ring and hitting Miz with a Superman Punch. Reigns set up for a Powerbomb, so Axel and Dallas attacked Reigns with chairs to the back. They beat on Reigns with the chairs. Miz got them to pick up Reigns and Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale on Reigns.
The heels left. Reigns struggled to get back up, so the heels went back in. Miz hit Reigns with two more chair shots. Miz hit another Skull Crushing Finale face first onto a chair. Miz hit Reigns in the back with another chair shot.
With Reigns out on the mat, Miz stood over Reigns and did the Shield fist pose along with Axel and Dallas. The crowd booed.
Analysis: Cheap heel attack that was well done. There are rumors of a Shield return and it looks like it’s going to be true. I figured that the opponents for them would feature names bigger than Dallas and Axel along with The Miz, but that’s what WWE might do. If they were going to go that route then why not make Dallas and Axel win earlier in the night so they don’t look like losers? Give some credibility as a team and it would help. Perhaps the heel trio will be Miz, Sheamus and Cesaro against The Shield because they have more credibility.
Still to come is Enzo Amore’s Championship Celebration.
Finn Balor is up next against Goldust.
Goldust was in the ring for his match. Finn Balor made his entrance to a good ovation.
Goldust vs. Finn Balor
Balor was aggressive early. With Balor on the apron, Goldust whipped him left shoulder first into the ring post. Goldust sent Balor’s ribs into the barricade since Balor was selling the rib injury.
Back from break, Goldust was still in control with a waistlock. Balor tried to get going, but Goldust kicked him in the ribs and hit a spinebuster for two. Balor tried a suplex, but his ribs were sore and he couldn’t do it. Balor came back with an overhead kick to the face. Balor stomped away on Goldust. Slingblade connected for Balor followed by the corner dropkick and up top for the Coup de Grace double foot stomp for the pinfall win after about seven minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Finn Balor
Analysis: ** It was an average TV match to pay off this mini-storyline they had. Only about four minutes of the match was shown. No doubt that Balor was going to win. The crowd didn’t really buy into the idea of Goldust winning the match. Balor finished him off with his usual trio of moves Slingblade-corner dropkick-Coup de Grace that he does for nearly every victory.
Post match, the Wyatt logo appeared on the screen and kids were singing “he’s got the whole world in his hands.” The Wyatt logo appeared again and that ended it.
Analysis: They are continuing Balor vs. Wyatt? Ugh. I thought it was over at No Mercy, but doing that shows they are keeping it going. It hasn’t been that interesting. I’d prefer it if they moved on.
Images were shown from the Women’s Title match at No Mercy that was won by Alexa Bliss.
Bayley was in the locker room when her buddy Sasha Banks showed up. Bayley texted her and Sasha didn’t text her back. Oh what drama! Banks said she was this close to getting her championship back, just for it to get taken away. Bayley said that Banks wasn’t the only one. Banks said they need to focus on Emma and Nia Jax. Bayley said for the past month, she has just replayed the shoulder popping in and out her socket as she could see Nia’s face laughing at her. Bayley said she’ll make Jax feel her pain. They shook hands and hugged.
Analysis: The dialogue in that segment was so cheesy. Painful to watch. Both of them are better talkers in the ring.
Enzo Amore went up to Kurt Angle in the hallway. Enzo said he gets vibes that people are jealous. Enzo said he’s going to need a no contact clause meaning if Neville or the other cruisers come after him they will forfeit any opportunity at that title. Angle told him he’s got it and said that he’s annoying as hell. Enzo left.
Analysis: Angle is right about that last line.
Nia Jax made her entrance. She’s not like most girls.
Emma was in the ring standing beside Jax.
Sasha Banks made her entrance followed by Bayley. The guy that tweets me every week asking if Sasha Banks is turning heel did in fact tweet me that this week. He is consistent.
Sasha Banks & Bayley vs. Nia Jax & Emma
Jax splashed Bayley in the corner to start the match. Jax sent Bayley into Banks on the apron and both faces went down as the match went to break one minute into it.
Back from break, the heels isolated Bayley from Emma. Clothesline from Emma on Bayley got a two count. Jax slapped on an armbar on Bayley. Jax did a leg drop to the right arm of Bayley with the announcers freaking out about it while the crowd was dead for it. Bayley fought her way out of the heel corner, kicked Emma away and Banks got the hot tag against Emma. Banks hit weak forearms followed by a dropkick and headscissors. Banks hit a double knee attack followed by a neckbreaker for two as Jax broke up the pin. Bayley went after Jax, so Jax knocked her down. Banks kicked Jax down. Bayley and Banks each jumped on Jax to knock her down. Bayley shoved Nia face first into the post. Back in the ring, Emma cradle on Banks got a two count. Bayley tagged in, Banks knee to Emma, Bayley jumped off the top, Emma avoided it and Bayley hit the Bayley to Belly for the pinfall win after nine minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Sasha Banks & Bayley
Analysis: *3/4 Match was just okay and the crowd didn’t care until the finish. The result was no surprise with Bayley getting the win one night after she was pinned in the title match. Also no surprise that Jax wasn’t pinned to protect her. If Emma’s in a match like that you know she’s going to get pinned most of the time. It feels like the creative team goes through the motions with the way they book the women because it's so predictable.
Enzo Amore is up next as Graves said he’s never been less excited about a party in his life.
Next week on Raw in Denver: Seth Rollins vs. Braun Strowman and The Miz vs. Roman Reigns for the Intercontinental Championship. Smart to advertise two big matches a week in advance.
Enzo Amore’s Cruiserweight Championship Celebration
Enzo did his usual intro and he had the Cruiserweight Title around his waist. There was a red carpet in the ring for this celebration.
Enzo said that he woke up in his California King bed and saw the most beautiful woman he had ever seen in his life while touching the title. Enzo said that he reflected over the last couple of months and that he’s dealt with his share of a cuppa haters. Enzo said that people are jealous. Enzo mentioned his former tag team partner Big Cass being jealous of him. Enzo said the last time he saw him, he was hobbling and crying out of a Brooklyn arena SAWFT. Enzo said he didn’t hold Cass back because from the looks of that title and Cass’ knee, he was the one holding Cass up. Enzo mentioned those “you can’t wrestle” chants while noting that those words were once said to John Cena, Batista and The Rock, who have mainstream power just like your boy (himself). Enzo unveiled a Certified G jersey that was under a frame. Enzo said he did something impossible and made 205 Live relevant.
The 205 Live theme music played as other cruiserweight wrestlers appeared on the stage. Most of them were in their ring gear.
Enzo called them a “cuppa haters” and then corrected himself to say a “bunch of haters.” Enzo said he couldn’t see Richie Swann because he’s so small. Enzo ripped on Swann saying he danced his way to a championship and then danced his way to being a nobody. Enzo mentioned Cedric the Alexander and called him the “man that charisma forgot.” Enzo talked about Gran Metalik saying that he had nerve coming out there because with a gut like that somebody has to bring out a scale because he doesn’t think Metalik is under 205. Enzo told Drew Gulak he’s glad he worse a suit because it’s better than the Captain Underpants look. Enzo called Jack Gallagher “tea cup” and mentioned Noam Dar, but Neville’s music interrupted it.
Neville made his entrance looking sad and angry. Enzo said that Neville looked terrible and said that his crown is now on the shoulder of a real man. The crowd popped for that. Enzo said “with those satellite disks on the side of your head that you call hears” I can see the pain in your eyes because the truth hurts. Enzo danced in the ring with the title.
Neville did a promo saying that Enzo is right that the truth is brutal and the truth is that Enzo is such a toxic individual that Enzo has alienated everybody he’s been in contact with. Neville talked about how Enzo was brought to Raw with a lot of fanfare and two years later he was dumped on their doorstep like a slug because nobody else will have him. Neville talked about the gentlemen behind him insisting that Enzo gets an opportunity. Enzo said he gets eyes on 205 Live and making them stars. Neville told Enzo that he has done nothing but make a joke about the cruiserweights, the division and Neville’s Cruiserweight Championship. Neville said when Enzo kicked him where the sun doesn’t shine he’s made a joke out of Neville. Neville slowly walked down to the ring and said that on behalf of the cruiserweight division, he’s there to end Enzo.
When Neville got into the ring, Enzo told him he’s got a contract that said if Neville touches him then he won’t get a title shot. Enzo called Neville the baby that Frodo and Gollum had. Enzo said this is the main event noting that in the nine months Neville held the title, he never sniffed this hour. Enzo said they are there because he’s a star. Enzo told Neville and the others that they couldn’t touch his merchandise checks because he’s money. Enzo told him to get out of his ring and he’ll see him on the “Zo Show” aka 205 Live.
Enzo told Neville to go home as he stood in the ring with the title in his hands. Neville kicked Enzo in the stomach. Neville tossed Enzo into the retired jersey that was in the ring. Neville whipped Enzo into the barricade at ringside. Neville sent Enzo into the barricade again with Graves saying he’s living vicariously through Neville during this. Enzo tried to leave, but the other cruiserweights told him to go back to the ring. Neville sent Enzo into the ring. Neville took the paper and put it in Enzo’s mouth. Neville did a standing side kick to Enzo. Neville set up Enzo in the corner, went up top and hit a Red Arrow splash. The crowd cheered Neville for the attack on Enzo.
Raw ended with Neville kneeling over a fallen Enzo with the purple Cruiserweight Title in the ring.
Analysis: That was interesting. I thought the segment was okay with a bit of a mixed message because this guy is supposed to be a face, gets treated like a heel by his peers and is now booked like a joke champion. Like Enzo said, that was the first time the cruiserweights got to main event Raw. I don’t think it’s a good thing that they got to headline it with a promo this week because it shows that the Raw roster is hurting in terms of star power now.
The promo from Enzo was good. He insulted guys, there were some decent jokes in there and he carried himself well. Neville being mad about it fits his personality as well. Neville beating up Enzo the way he did drew cheers. People liked seeing Enzo get his ass kicked. Is Enzo going to be a heel champion now? That might be the direction, but I don’t know if being a heel is going to work for him.
As for Neville’s future, the attack on Enzo means that he doesn’t get another shot at the Cruiserweight Title, so I assume he’s being moved out of the cruiserweight division. Then again, they could just saying it wasn't a binding contract and keep Neville involved. I don’t think it means he is turning face because he’s such a good heel. This was just a beating to show that Enzo isn’t liked by the other wrestlers in the division.
After Raw was over, Braun Strowman and the cruiserweights beat up Enzo. WWE posted a five minute video of it on their Youtube channel and we've got a post about it here.
Three Stars of the Show
- The Miz
- Braun Strowman
- Roman Reigns
5 out of 10
Last week: 5
2017 Average: 5.88
Average since brand split starting July 25/16: 5.88 (Smackdown is 6.66)
Last 5 Weeks: 5, 6, 7.5, 6, 5.5
2017 High: 8 (April 3)
2017 Low: 4 (Jan. 9, Feb. 27 & June 12)
I give it a 5 out of 10.
Welcome to WWE in the fall season. It’s the worst time of year for the WWE product as part timers fade away and WWE struggles to come up with big storylines because they want to save the great stuff until the new year.
Same score as last week. It felt like an average show with no standout matches, but the promos were good. The Miz was exceptional most of the show with his promo and the match with Reigns, who also did well.
There were also some cool moments like Braun Strowman destroying Curt Hawkins. Everything Strowman does is cool at this point.
I thought Mickie James and Alexa Bliss did a great job of starting a new rivalry based off an old feud. At least it feels different than most of the Raw women, who have become very stale.
Main event segment was different and unique. I doubt they put the cruisers in the main event again any time soon.
That's all for this week. See ya next time for the Smackdown review.
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