Welcome to another edition of the WWE Raw Deal review here on Rajah. This Raw took place on an important day in my life because November 4th is my birthday. I’m going to use this opportunity to say thank you for reading my content whether it has been for 20 years, 10 years, 5 years, just one year, maybe a few months or even weeks, I’m grateful that you’re here. At 39 years of age, I feel like I’m in a good place in my life considering I have been able to make a career out of writing about the wacky world of pro wrestling. From me to you, thanks for the support. Now I’m gonna shut up and let’s get to the show.
Live from Long Island, New York this is the Raw Deal for episode #1380 of Monday Night Raw. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage, insightful columns from our team along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner up top.
The show began with a shot of the parking lot with a few Cadillac SUV cars pulling. Jerry Lawler wondered aloud if it was the President. Not exactly. It was Triple H, who emerged from a car and there were two more cars behind him with the idea being they were NXT wrestlers. This is WWE telling the audience that NXT wrestlers will be on Raw too.
The Raw intro video aired. The pyro went off in the arena and that’s always fun to see. The announce team for Raw is Vic Joseph, Jerry “The King” Lawler and Dio Maddin.
Let’s Hear from Brock Lesnar with Paul Heyman
Brock Lesnar, the WWE Champion, made his entrance along with his advocate Paul Heyman. Lesnar quit Smackdown last week, so now he’s on Raw along with the WWE Title.
Paul Heyman did the usual introduction for himself as well as the “ultimate champion” in WWE, Brock Lesnar. Heyman said Lesnar had enough of Friday Night Smackdown on Fox and has quit Smackdown. Heyman said that Lesnar has come to Raw to hunt down Rey Mysterio. Heyman said that a few weeks ago after the draft, Raw traded Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross to Smackdown for two future draft considerations. Heyman said that Lesnar had a no cut contract “cuz he has a Jew for an advocate.” That’s what he said. Heyman said WWE can’t fire Lesnar, they have an investment in Lesnar and that means Lesnar’s contract has been assigned to Monday Night Raw. Heyman said that Roman Reigns can’t quit Smackdown and Seth Rollins can’t quit Raw. Heyman said that Lesnar is different, he’s special and he’s entitled to do whatever he wants to do. Heyman assured the crowd that Lesnar is better than each and every single one of you. Heyman said he’s better than us at home as well as the “bitches in the back” that think they’re tough guys that can take on Brock Lesnar.
Analysis: That was a decent way of explaining the Lesnar move to Raw where he just quit and it basically makes a mockery of the whole WWE Draft process. At least they tried to come up with something for it.
Heyman said that someone here knows where Rey Mysterio is, so where is he? Heyman asked if you want Lesnar to go over the railing and slap every man in the audience. Heyman did a Long Island accent as if a guy was going to slap Lesnar back. Heyman said there’s nobody man enough to slap Lesnar. Heyman talked about how Rey Mysterio wasn’t man enough to stop Lesnar from beating up Rey’s son Dominick. Heyman said somebody is going to give up Mysterio, point him out and Lesnar is going to commit a felony against Mysterio or Lesnar is going to turn the Nassau Coliseum upside down and inside down like an F5 has touched down here in New York. Heyman said tonight is the funeral of Rey Mysterio’s career at the hands of the WWE Champion Brock Lesnar. Lesnar and Heyman walked up the ramp looking pissed off and they walked to the backstage area.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman were shown walking backstage. Lesnar grabbed a random guy by the throat asking if he’s seen Mysterio. Lesnar tossed him down leading to a break.
Analysis: Great promo work by Heyman as usual. They told the fans watching that Lesnar was looking for Mysterio and he was going to destroy everything in his path looking for Rey. It’s a good way to keep people tuned in to see what’s going to happen in the storyline.
There was a replay of Lesnar’s rampage backstage before the break.
Lesnar and Heyman were shown in the parking lot area. Lesnar yelled at a guy asking where Rey Mysterio was. Lesnar was told Mysterio was in some car in the parking lot. Lesnar opened a door, pulled a guy out and it was not Rey. It was some random guy with a beard. The door was ripped off the hinges.
The Women’s Tag Team Champions The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane) were in the ring for a tag team match. Charlotte Flair made her entrance as one of the opponents.
A clip aired from Crown Jewel showing the highlights and media attention that Natalya vs. Lacey Evans got as the first women’s match in Saudi Arabia. When the video ended, Flair did some light applause that was almost mocking the moment. She looked uninterested even though Flair is a babyface that should show more enthusiasm for something like that. Natalya made her entrance with a big smile on her face while Maddin noted he was a father of three daughters and put over the Crown Jewel moment as a big deal. Lawler noted that Flair didn’t seem too impressed, so maybe her reaction is just part of whatever this story is.
The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane) vs. Charlotte Flair and Natalya
This is not for the Women’s Tag Team Titles. Natalya started against Sane with not much happening. Flair tagged in with a head whip that sent Asuka down. Natalya went in the ring, so Flair and Natalya each hit suplexes on Asuka and Sane.
When the match returned, Asuka and Natalya exchanged multiple shoulder blocks. The referee put on the white gloves, so somebody was bleeding. Asuka bailed to the floor, Natalya went after her and Asuka decked her with a kick to the head. Back in the ring, Asuka slapped on an armbar as a clip aired of the Kabuki Warriors turning on former manager Paige last week with Asuka spitting the dreaded green mist in her eyes. Sane tagged in leading to kicks from Asuka, Sane and a running dropkick from Sane. That led to Sane grounding Natalya and when Natalya broke free, Sane hit another dropkick on her. Natalya came back with a rollup for two and Flair tagged in. Flair with a clothesline on Sane, boot to the face of Asuka, chops on Sane and Flair hit a fallaway slam. Flair with a backbreaker on Sane followed by the Natural Selection neckbreaker for two because Asuka put Sane’s foot on the bottom rope, which the referee saw. Flair decked Asuka with a forearm while they were out of the ring. Flair gave Asuka a boot to the face. Flair set up the Kabuki Warriors side by side by the ropes, Flair went up top and barely connected with a moonsault for a two count on Sane. That looked a bit sloppy. I know Flair doing a moonsault looks impressive, but the landing is always an issue. Asuka got in a cheap shot punch on Flair to give the heels control again.
The match returned with Flair nearly tagging out, but Sane hit the back of Flair to prevent the tag. Sane went for a corner clothesline, but Flair got a boot up to stop her. Flair kept looking back to see where Sane was and when Asuka got tagged in first, that’s when Natalya got the hot tag too. Natalya with a Russian legsweep on Asuka followed by a clothesline and a German Suplex. Natalya wanted a Sharpshooter, but Asuka grabbed the hair to break free and Asuka slapped on an armbar on Natalya. When Natalya got out of that, she slapped on the Sharpshooter on Asuka in the middle of the ring. Sane went into the ring with a Codebreaker double knees to Natalya. Flair hit a Spear on Sane to take care of her. Asuka tried the Asuka Lock, Natalya tripped the leg to break free and slapped on the Sharpshooter. Asuka tapped out to give Natalya’s team the win after 18 minutes.
Winners by submission: Charlotte Flair and Natalya
Analysis: **3/4 A good tag team match as expected from four of the best women’s wrestlers in WWE. I think going 18 minutes was too long. I like long matches as much as anybody, but it’s hard to throw a match out there cold like this and expect the fans to be hot for all of it. If they got 12-14 minutes it would have been better. It’s typical WWE booking that we have seen hundreds of times where the champs lose non-title in order to set up a title match. It’s too repetitive. Natalya and Flair as a team is solid, but some of Flair’s body language suggests maybe the story is they don’t get along, yet they find ways to win. Asuka tapping out like that is rare. I’m still getting used to Sane as a heel, but I think she’s a tremendous performer. I assume this leads to a rematch at Survivor Series with Kabuki Warriors defending the titles against Flair and Natalya. It should better than this match was.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman were back while Natalya’s music was playing and she was celebrating with Flair.
Lesnar and Heyman walked towards the announce table. Heyman asked the announce trio where Rey Mysterio was. Heyman said Lawler knows everything, so he asked where Rey was and if Lawler doesn’t tell him, Heyman will unleash the Lesnar on him and if he does, no one will resuscitate Lawler when he dies on the air again. That was a reference to Lawler’s heart attack on Raw earlier this decade. Dio Maddin got up, stepped in Lesnar’s face and he was a bit taller than Lesnar. Lesnar hit Maddin with knees to the ribs, forearms to the back and Lesnar gave Maddin an F5 through the announce table. The crowd reacted to that in a big way with some chanting “holy shit” for it. Maddin was down on the table.
Analysis: Maddin is a trained wrestler and also a big dude, so it looked impressive to see Lesnar beat him up so easily.
Lesnar was on the ramp looking at the destruction when Rey Mysterio showed up with a steel (probably foam) pipe in his hands. Mysterio hit Lesnar in the back of the leg multiple times. Mysterio grabbed the WWE Title and hit a running shot on Lesnar where he hit him in the head. Referees and producers showed up to calm Rey down. The fans were loving this along with “619” chants. Lesnar was down on the ground selling the attack.
Analysis: That was excellent with Mysterio showing a lot of intensity and Lesnar selling the attack perfectly. It’s rare to see Lesnar get beat up like that, so Mysterio looked impressive as the guy that put Lesnar down.
There was a replay showing what happened before the break with Lesnar hitting an F5 on Dio Maddin through the table and then Rey Mysterio attacked Brock Lesnar. A clip was shown of Lesnar during the commercial where he was selling the left leg injury.
Rey Mysterio was backstage doing a promo into a camera. Mysterio’s said that Lesnar has tried to take everything from Rey like attacking Rey’s son Dominick, so as the passage says, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Mysterio said fight fire with fire. Mysterio said since Lesnar has come after what’s most important to Rey, that means Rey is going to come after what’s important to Lesnar – the WWE Championship. Rey wondered if at Survivor Series will Lesnar be as man enough to come after him the way Mysterio went after Lesnar tonight? Mysterio left.
Analysis: Rey’s promos have been awesome of late and this one was as well. They have built up a Lesnar vs. Mysterio match well in terms of storyline. It would be better if Mysterio won some big match to earn the WWE Title match too.
Buddy Murphy vs. Cedric Alexander
They were already in the ring when the bell rang. Alexander with a headscissors followed by a dropkick that sent Murphy out of the ring. Murphy whipped Alexander into the barricade. They went into the ring with Murphy sending Alexander hard into the ring post for two. Murphy worked over Alexander’s left arm a bit, Alexander came back with chops, Alexander with a back elbow to the head and a jumping kick to the head. Alexander hit a suicide dive that sent Murphy into the barricade, which was followed by Alexander hitting a somersault dive over the top on Murphy. Back in the ring, Alexander hit a springboard flatliner for two. Nice sequence of moves there. The crowd was barely reacting to anything here. Murphy went for the Murphy’s Law slam, Alexander got a rollup for two and then Alexander hit a Michinoku Driver slam for a two count. Alexander went for a springboard attack, Murphy hit a knee to the back and Murphy hit the Murphy’s Law slam for the pinfall win after about six minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Buddy Murphy
Analysis: *** They are good wrestlers that will always have a fun match that’s easy to get into. The problem with both guys is that personality wise there is nothing that makes them stick out. Murphy got the win here, but it just seems like a match without much in the way of story development. I could see them doing this match again and Alexander winning that one. It just feels like that kind of story. I liked this match slightly better than the women’s match that got 12 more minutes because this was a more exciting pace with a better finish.
The announce team of Vic Joseph and Jerry Lawler were shown with the broken announce table in front of them. No more Dio Maddin since he was taken out by Brock Lesnar with an F5 through the announce table.
There was a video package of the destruction caused by NXT on Smackdown this past Friday. The main event match with Adam Cole beating Daniel Bryan was outstanding. Triple H did a promo reminding us: “WE ARE NXT.”
Seth Rollins was shown walking backstage in a plain black t-shirt instead of one of his shirts. He’s up for a promo at the start of hour two.
This Friday on Smackdown: Roman Reigns vs. Baron Corbin and The Revival defending the Smackdown Tag Team Titles against The New Day. Both matches were set for last week, but it didn’t happen due to travel issues. Smackdown will be in Manchester, England, so the spoilers will be out a few hours before it airs.
Let’s Hear from Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins made his entrance dressed in all black with a t-shirt and jeans. There was no Universal Title in his hands and as I said earlier, he wasn’t wearing one of his t-shirts.
Rollins asked what is next for him. Rollins said it’s been a rough week and really a rough couple of months. Rollins said he knows that plenty of the fans are thrilled that he lost to The Fiend at Crown Jewel, which drew cheers and Rollins said he doesn’t give a damn. Rollins said what concerns him is The Fiend took the Universal Title to Smackdown and that Brock Lesnar is back on Raw with the WWE Title at the top of the mountain. Rollins said that what concerns him is that everything he has worked for over the last year to help guys like AJ Styles, Braun Strowman and Baron Corbin to step up to that next level it’s like it is all gone now. Rollins said he knows his thing is to redesign, rebuild and reclaim, but he doesn’t know if he has the energy for it this time. Rollins asked again what’s next for Seth Rollins? He said for the first time in a long time, he doesn’t know.
Triple H’s “King of Kings” song hit as The Game walked out there in a suit while the letters “NXT” appeared on the screen. Triple H joined Rollins in the ring and they shook hands.
Hunter said Rollins doesn’t know what’s next as fans chanted “NXT” at Trips. Hunter said it’s funny how history repeats itself because when Seth doesn’t know what’s next, their paths cross. Hunter said if you want to know your future, you have to retrace the steps of your past. Hunter talked about how the first time Rollins wondered what was next, Seth walked away as the NXT Champion. What was next after that, he came to Hunter and The Shield was born (a CM Punk idea, but not like they would say that). Hunter said when Rollins came to him again, Rollins became the WWE Champion…after turning on The Shield to become a heel. Hunter said it’s that way over and over again. Rollins wondered if they were for his benefit or for Hunter. Hunter asked does it really matter because every time, Rollins walked away as a champion and Seth said that’s a fair point.
Hunter told Rollins that even though he doesn’t know what is next, Hunter knows. Hunter pointed out the NXT invasion on Smackdown and Rollins replied that they fired the first show while most of Smackdown wasn’t there. Hunter reminded him that Adam Cole beat Daniel Bryan while pointing out that NXT is on fire and fans are wondering what is NXT going to do next. Hunter noted he didn’t come there alone. Hunter wondered what Seth Rollins is going to do next because what Rollins does next will affect what Hunter does next. Hunter mentioned Survivor Series is Raw vs. Smackdown vs. NXT and they (NXT) have something to prove. Hunter said maybe Seth doesn’t know if he has the energy, drive or the passion or the heart to motivate him, but Hunter knows how to get Seth there. Hunter said he knows how to make Seth great. Hunter said that Seth is either with him in this moment…and the fans reacted to something in the crowd.
Analysis: I liked that promo from Hunter touching on the history he had with Rollins that went back all the way to 2012 with Rollins winning the NXT Title. Hunter’s great at telling stories about things that happened in the past.
The Undisputed foursome of Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish entered the arena. They stood on the apron. Hunter said that Seth is either with him or he’s against him.
The OC threesome of AJ Styles, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows made their entrance looking ready for a showdown. As they got closer to the ring, The Undisputed Era bailed into the crowd while The OC stood at ringside. That led to more NXT stars like Dominik Dijakovic and Damian Priest joined the attack. The Undisputed Era went back out there for an attack. Damian Priest hit a superkick on Gallows. The rest of the Raw roster including guys like Erick Rowan, R-Truth, Curt Hawkins, Zack Ryders and others went out there, so the NXT guys ran away.
The focus was back on Rollins in the ring, who was not attacked and he walked up the ramp alone.
Analysis: The cheap attacks continue from the NXT brand to try to tell the audience that they are on the same level as the Raw and Smackdown guys. I like how it has been booked so far. The announcers mentioned that Rollins wasn’t attacked, so it’s possible that Rollins could be with Hunter. I like that there’s a bit of a mystery to keep the story going through the show.
A replay aired of the previous segment.
Triple H was shown walking down the hallway. Seth Rollins said that if Hunter was trying to light a fire under his ass then he got the job done. Rollins said if you want him on NXT, he’s coming there as the top guy. Rollins wanted Adam Cole in an NXT Title match tonight. Hunter told him “welcome back, challenge accepted” and it’s on for later.
Andrade and Zelina Vega made their entrance. Vega said they were the greatest mixed tag team while adding she’s going to humiliate that butt ugly woman that hides her face behind a luchador mask. Vega said that Sin Cara was without a prayer of ever defeating the most talented superstar in the world, Andrade. Sin Cara entered with the newcomer Carolina, who debuted last week.
Sin Cara and Carolina vs. Andrade and Zelina Vega
Andrade charged at Sin Cara, who dumped Andrade over the top. Carolina hit a dive onto Andrade on the floor to knock him down.
The match returned with both guys down as a clip aired of Vega hitting a DDT on Cara on the floor. Andrade and Cara battled by the turnbuckle with Andrade working him over with forearms to the back. Cara hit a sunset flip Powerbomb off the turnbuckle. The ladies tagged in leading to Vega facing off with Carolina, who hit two dropkicks. Carolina with a cross body block off the middle ropes that looked sloppy. Vega with a boot to the face and Carolina countered a move with a sitout slam. Andrade made the save, so Cara gave Andrade a clothesline over the top. Carolina put Vega on her back and hit a Gory Bomb. Sin Cara hit a dive over the top to take out Andrade on the floor. Vega went for a headscissors, Carolina blocked it, but then Vega sent Carolina into the turnbuckle. Vega hit a running basement hurricanrana that sent Carolina in the mat for the pinfall win after seven minutes. There was no reaction from the crowd for the finish.
Winner by pinfall: Andrade and Zelina Vega
Analysis: *1/2 A decent match to put over Vega, who is obviously seen as a bigger star over the newcomer Carolina. It’s smart to continue to build up the Andrade/Vega duo as rising stars on Raw. Some of the Vega/Carolina spots were sloppy, but they got through it. The crowd was dead for most of this match.
A video package aired about Lana cheating on Rusev including their main event Divorce Court segment last week. Lana accused Rusev of cheating, he said that’s a lie and that led to more arguing. That segment ended when Lana’s boyfriend Bobby Lashley beat up Rusev again.
Rusev was shown walking backstage for a segment up next.
Rusev was in the ring with a microphone in hand with fans chanting “Rusev Day” for him. Rusev said tonight is the night to end all of this stupid drama. Rusev said he’s not out there to bicker with his soon to be ex-wife Lana and he’s not there to call her names even though he can. Rusev mentioned “Bob” Lashley and he said if you want Lana, she’s all yours, but “your ass is mine.”
Analysis: I like how Rusev calls him “Bob” instead of Bobby. It’s just funny to be different like that. I’m also glad that Rusev said he doesn’t want Lana back anymore because when he did that in the past, it made him sound like a loser.
Bobby Lashley showed up with crutches along with the lovely Lana by his side. Lashley said he’s not medically cleared to compete because he suffered a torn groin. Lashley said he didn’t do it at Crown Jewel. Lashley said he tore his groin doing things and performing in ways that Rusev could only fantasize about. Lana kissed him. Lana said that Rusev isn’t interested in hearing about their life filled with love and sex. Lana said that Rusev is interested in a different type of fact, but there is somebody that has volunteered to fight him and he’s going to kick your ass. It’s Drew McIntyre.
Analysis: The “torn groin due to sex” story is different. Does this mean the Attitude Era is back? I’m kidding. Heels lie, my friends.
Drew McIntyre vs. Rusev
This would be a good rivalry. Two talented European wrestlers that I like a lot. McIntyre whipped Rusev into the turnbuckle, Rusev came back with a clothesline and shoulder tackles. Rusev worked over McIntyre with stomps against the turnbuckle while Lashley and Lana watched from the stage. Rusev with a kick to the ribs, but McIntyre knocked him down again with punches. Rusev hit a fallaway slam with Drew bumping to the floor, which led to a break.
The match returned with McIntyre in control with an armbar. Rusev broke free, but McIntyre dropped him with a spinebuster for two. McIntyre told Rusev he is nothing but a bitch. The crowd wasn’t into this match. Rusev started the comeback with two clotheslines, a corner splash and a spinning heel kick. Rusev posed for the crowd, so that led to some mild applause. Rusev missed a kick because McIntyre moved and after Rusev missed an attack off the middle ropes, they did a double cross body block spot where they both went down in the ring. They exchanged punches leading to Rusev hitting a Machka Kick that sent McIntyre out of the ring. Rusev sent McIntyre into the steel steps, which led to Lashley showing up with a crutch to the back. What a SHOCKING twist that EVERYBODY saw coming. The match ended in a DQ after 10 minutes.
Winner by disqualification: Rusev
Analysis: *3/4 The match was going fine, but the DQ finish ended it on a sour note. The fans were barely reacting to anything. This was a tough crowd to please.
After the match was over, Lashley drove Rusev back first into the barricade. McIntyre left. Lashley sent Rusev back into the ring, Rusev came back with punches and Rusev sent Lashley shoulder first into the steel ring post. Rusev grabbed a crutch, but then Randy Orton showed up with an RKO OUTTA NOWHERE! The crowd popped big for that since it was a surprise. Lana loved it.
Ricochet showed up for the save. He sent Lashley out of the ring. Orton went for an RKO on Ricochet, but Ricochet hit Orton wit ha jumping kick. Ricochet hit a sliding dropkick on Lashley, which also knocked Lana down on the floor.
Analysis: That was a nice RKO that nobody really saw coming because Orton came in through the crowd. This sets up an obvious tag team match with Ricochet and Rusev vs. Lashley and Orton next week. They could also do Ricochet vs. Orton as a feud on Raw as well.
Becky Lynch was shown backstage getting set up for an interview.
There was an image of the Washington Nationals celebrating with the WWE Title at their Championship Parade for winning the MLB World Series last week. Star pitcher Max Scherzer was holding the WWE Title up as well. Sorry Houston Astros fans. It was a good series.
Becky Lynch Interview
Becky Lynch was interviewed by Charly Caruso, who mentioned at Survivor Series it will be Lynch vs. Bayley vs. Shayna Baszler. Lynch talked about how she loved Survivor Series as her favorite time of year where nobody can relax for a second and she loved Smackdown last week. Lynch said she knows what it’s all about. Lynch said this year she’s a target because she beat Bayley’s best friend Sasha Banks and she knocked Shayna’s best friend Ronda Rousey into hiding. That’s when Shayna Baszler showed up with the NXT Women’s Title. Baszler said hello to Becky and said she’s been waiting a long time to say hello to her. Baszler noted that Lynch beat Rousey at WrestleMania and Baszler told her that she is not Ronda Rousey. Baszler said that at Survivor Series, she won’t take her eyes off Bayley, but she is there to tell Lynch she will pin her or tap her out. Baszler said the only thing Lynch has to think about between now and Survivor Series is which one of Becky’s limbs will belong to Baszler. Lynch said she hasn’t fully decided if she respects Shayna or slap the head off her. Lynch said that now Shayna can feel the same doubt that Ronda felt because warring with Becky will change you like it did to Rousey. Lynch told Baszler she won’t take her eyes off Bayley, but she is going directly for Baszler. They stood up, had a staredown, Baszler said she’s really glad to have met her and Lynch told her to bring her best because she’ll show Baszler who the real baddest woman on the planet is.
Analysis: That was excellent. Both women showed a lot of intensity and it sold me on their match at Survivor Series along with Bayley. Baszler isn’t a great talker like Lynch is, but in a backstage setting like that, Baszler can get the job done. I really liked how this was filmed while the dialogue seemed more natural than some WWE promos.
It’s official for Survivor Series: Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch vs. Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley vs. NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler. No titles on the line, but it’s a big match between three champions.
The OC trio of US Champion AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson made their entrance. Styles told Long Island he is not in the mood, so sit down and shut up, which drew boos. Styles said Gallows and Anderson are the best tag team in the world while pointing out their World Cup trophy at ringside that proves it. Styles said he’s the phenomenal AJ Styles and your US Champion. Styles said they don’t care about NXT and next time they see one of those punks, they’ll make sure they don’t set foot out of Orlando, Florida.
The Street Profits duo of Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins made their entrance with Humberto Carrillo, who is back to wearing the cape for his entrance. Ford sucked up to the crowd by calling it “Strong Island.” Ford said Gallows and Anderson are officially the best tag team in the world (with a big announcement) while Dawkins noted they were not in that match and noted they beat G&A two weeks ago. Ford said he can’t say that, which led to Dawkins saying it repeatedly that they beat G&A and then Carrillo said that The Street Profits beat The OC two weeks ago on Raw. Styles told Humberto shut his mouth. Ford told Carrillo to say it Spanish so Carrillo did. Styles: “What the hell did he just say?” Dawkins told Styles that mothers love to swipe right on the dimples of Humberto. Ford set up the “We Want the Smoke” catchphrase to get to the match.
Analysis: The promo wasn’t really needed. The crowd didn’t react to it much at all, but Ford is an excellent talker. If this was Smackdown they wouldn’t have had time for a promo like that, but on this three-hour show there’s always time.
The OC (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) vs. The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) and Humberto Carrillo
Carrillo hit a cross body block on Styles. Dawkins tagged in, Styles hit him with a punch to the throat and Dawkins hit a standing dropkick on Anderson. Ford tagged in with a dropkick followed by a Dawkins splash for two. Ford with a boot to the face of Anderson, Styles grabbed the foot of Ford, Anderson with a forearm and Gallows decked Ford with a clothesline while on the floor. Styles put Ford across the middle rope leading to a boot from Gallows. Ford came back with a dropkick on Styles. Ford with a dropkick on Anderson. Gallows tagged in with a boot to the face of Ford. Styles with a corner clothesline, Anderson with a jumping kick and Gallows with a splash followed by a punch for two.
The match returned with Anderson in control with a chinlock. Gallows tagged in and Ford hit a blockbuster neckbreaker on him. Carrillo got the hot tag on Styles with a dropkick, corner splash and a running dropkick. No reaction from the fans as Carrillo hit a standing moonsault for two. Carrillo went up top and connected with a big moonsault for two. Anderson broke up the count, Dawkins shoulder tackle on Anderson, Gallows kicked Dawkins, Ford dropkick on Gallows and Ford hit a somersault dive on G&A on the floor. Styles with a forearm to Carrillo, Styles up top, Carrillo avoided the attack and then Styles hit a Powerbomb with his feet on the ropes for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The OC (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson)
Analysis: **3/4 The match was pretty good with Styles getting the cheap win by putting his feet on the ropes. I don’t mind a heel cheating to win. They need to do that more often. The fans still don’t react much to Carrillo, so WWE has to keep working on his character. You can’t just put him out there against Styles every week and expect the fans to just love Carrillo all of a sudden.
A video was shown featuring the Undisputed Era leader Adam Cole, who is the NXT Champion. Great wrestler.
Adam Cole was talking to Triple H backstage as they get ready for the main event with Cole facing Rollins.
There were replays of Brock Lesnar’s evening that included Rey Mysterio beating up Lesnar with a steel pipe. Lesnar will defend the WWE Title against Rey Mysterio at Survivor Series.
The Viking Raiders duo of Erik and Ivar made their entrance with the Raw Tag Team Titles. Their Survivor Series match was announced: Raw Tag Team Champions Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) vs. Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) vs. NXT Tag Team Champions The Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish).
The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) vs. East Hampton Polo Boys
The East Hampton Polo Boys were enhancement talent wearing polo shirts and pants looking like the Mean Street Posse. Erik decked one of the guys with a forearm followed by a German Suplex. Erik hit a running dropkick. Ivar hit a running splash against the turnbuckle on one of the boys. Erik with a backbreaker and then a gutwrench Powerbomb. Ivar went up top with a splash for the pinfall win after one minute.
Winners by pinfall: The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar)
Analysis: 1/4* An easy win for The Viking Raiders as expected. At least they are champions that can win non-title matches.
Erik and Ivar did a promo with Erik saying they can admit that at Crown Jewel, they suffered defeat and congratulations to The OC for being crowned the best tag team in the world. Erik said they can enjoy their trophy. Ivar said that victory often times is nothing more than survival. Ivar said that they may have won one battle and Erik said nothing can stop the raid.
Analysis: They are a babyface team that needs to play to the crowd more. The fans were dead for this too.
Seth Rollins was shown backstage getting ready and this time he had one of his “SR” shirts on.
Seth Rollins made his entrance for the main event. Adam Cole (bay bay) entered along with the suit wearing Triple H by his side. At least the crowd woke up enough to chant “Adam Cole bay bay” on cue. They didn’t react much for Rollins at all.
Analysis: These guys were both top guys in Ring of Honor at different times and have a very similar look/style. Rollins is a bit taller.
NXT Championship: Adam Cole (w/Triple H) vs. Seth Rollins
Rollins with a clothesline that sent Cole over the top to the floor. Rollins jumped over the top onto Cole on the floor. Rollins sent Cole into the barricade two times, which led to a break.
Cole was in control with a jumping kick to the face for a two count while Triple H was shown at ringside. Rollins came back with a jumping kick, but Cole hat a jumping kick for him. Rollins forearm and a superkick got a two count for Rollins. Cole sent Rollins to the apron, Rollins with a leap off the top and Cole hit him with a superkick for two. Cole tried for the Panama Sunrise, but Rollins blocked it and gave Cole a Buckle Bomb into the turnbuckle. Cole bailed to the floor, so Rollins hit him with two suicide dives in a row. Back in the ring, Rollins with a springboard knee to the face and Cole hit a suplex into a shoulderbreaker for two. Cole with a running knee to the face for a two count. Rollins got a rollup and they did a double clothesline spot after that to knock both guys down. Cole went up top, Rollins went after him with a superplex into a Falcon Arrow slam and that got a two count. Rollins did his repeated stomps leading to “Burn it Down” chants and that’s when The Undisputed Era showed up to attack Rollins. The match went 13 minutes. Lawler: “I can’t believe it.” Everybody watching at home can.
Winner by disqualification: Seth Rollins (Adam Cole remains NXT Champion)
Analysis: ***1/4 A very good match from two of the best wrestlers in WWE. The finish without a clean ending was expected. They did well in the time given to build up to the key spots in the match. I’m sure Rollins and Cole had fun being in a match and they’ll probably want to do it again down the road.
The post match attack continued with The Undisputed foursome of Cole, O’Reilly, Fish and Strong stomped away on Rollins. That led to Raw wrestlers emptying out from the back and then more NXT wrestlers went into the ring including guys like Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, Pete Dunne, Dominick Dijakovic, Damian Priest and others. Ciampa was working over Ricochet with punches. The brawl went over to the side of the ring.
Ricochet went up top and hit a springboard Shooting Star Press onto a bunch of guys outside the ring, so everybody fell down like bowling pins. That was an impressive move.
Keith Lee ran the ropes and he hit a somersault dive over the top onto a pile of guys on the floor. Lee is over 300 pounds, so that’s a very impressive leap by him. The show ended there.
Analysis: It was a predictable ending to the show, but also the right ending with a wild brawl as expected after we saw NXT attack on Smackdown last week. The Raw guys put up a fight, so at least it felt even on this show. Great dive by Ricochet. I’m glad Lee got to have the final dive because watching a 350 pound guy like him dive over the top is pretty incredible. I think Keith Lee is a huge star that is just getting started in NXT and he’s a potential main eventer no matter what show he is on.
This ending let the fans know that NXT trying to attack Raw and Smackdown is going to keep happening until we get to Survivor Series. It will make people care more, so it's working in that regard.
Three Stars of the Show
- Brock Lesnar
- Rey Mysterio
- Adam Cole/Seth Rollins
6.5 out of 10
Last week: 5.5
2019 Average: 5.85 (Smackdown is 6.71)
Last 5 Weeks: 5.5, 6.5, 5.5, 5.5, 6
2019 High: 8 (September 9)
2019 Low: 3.5 (May 27)
This week’s Raw gets a 6.5 out of 10.
It was a good show that was a bit above average, but not great like Smackdown was. There was some better storyline progression than we have seen in recent weeks. I think the atmosphere was more fun with the NXT superstars making their presence known. Fans like seeing different people out there and NXT has the reputation as the “cool” brand right now.
A lot of the Lesnar/Mysterio stuff is working and was well done. I know some people hate Brock, but he’s by far the most over heel on the show and this company is sorely lacking in pure heels. The match quality was just fine all show long with nothing really standing out. The Rollins/Cole match was fine before the predictable finish. I liked the wild brawl to end the show. Those brawls tend to happen every year going into Survivor Series and it always works in terms of getting the fans more interested. This crowd was dead for a lot of the show, though, so hopefully other crowds respond better.
I like what WWE has advertised for Survivor Series so far. It's going to have a different feel to it and that's a positive considering most PPVs of late have felt very stale.
The next WWE PPV is Survivor Series on November 24. Here’s the official lineup so far.
WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Rey Mysterio
Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch vs. Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley vs. NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler
Raw Tag Team Champions Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) vs. Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) vs. NXT Tag Team Champions The Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish)
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