The road to WWE Survivor Series continues with a taped show from Manchester, England. While Raw airs live nearly every week, this week they taped it last Friday after they taped Smackdown, so by the end of this Raw the fans had seen nearly five hours of content. The tape delay also means WWE is more likely to edit in the fake crowd noise that we all hate so much. Fun. Anyway, I read the results and posted them on TJRWrestling on Friday. I don’t expect it to have a major effect on my review. I base my thoughts on what happens on my TV, not what I read about a few days earlier. Let’s roll.
Live (on tape) from Manchester, England, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1381 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 Raw intro video aired to begin the show. The pyro went off in the arena leading to cheers from the fans in Manchester, England. As mentioned above, this was taped right after Smackdown last Friday.
Becky Lynch made her entrance with the Raw Women’s Championship in her hands as they showed an Ireland flag in the crowd. It was mentioned by Vic Joseph that Natalya can’t be there this week due to family obligations. The announce team of Vic Joseph and Jerry Lawler were at the announce table for this week only since the set is a bit different in England. No Dio Maddin since he was selling the attack from last week when Brock Lesnar put Maddin through a table.
Becky Lynch talked about how she started wrestling in England when she was 15 years old and now she’s the Raw Women’s Champion that gets to challenge for the Women’s Tag Team Titles. Lynch said “bring them on” with regards to opponents that want to come at her, which led to “Becky” chants for her. Lynch said that if Shayna Baszler, Bayley or the Kabuki Warriors think she will stop fighting they are wrong because getting retribution is what makes her The Man. Lynch said she’s not going to stop and the only thing she fears in life is not being the greatest. Lynch said that how about she becomes Becky Two Belts again by becoming one half of the Women’s Tag Team Champions.
Analysis: The promo from Lynch was fine. It was only a few minutes with her saying her usual phrases and talking about not backing from others. The crowd is still strongly behind Lynch.
Charlotte Flair made her entrance to a pretty good pop from the crowd. She got a nice pyro display as well.
Analysis: You may recall that last week it was Flair and Natalya that beat The Kabuki Warriors in a non-title match. There’s no Natalya this week because, as Vic Joseph said, Natalya was home dealing with a family matter, so she wasn’t at the taping on Friday. On Natalya's Instagram on Friday she was with family in California, so I'm not sure what it was, but I hope all is well with her family. I find it odd that they would just give a title shot to Lynch and Flair when Lynch didn’t earn it, but I assume it’s a case of WWE wanting to get a title match on the show.
The Kabuki Warriors duo of Asuka and Kairi Sane made their entrance with the Women’s Tag Team Titles. They are the confident heel champions. All four women stood in the ring as ring announcer Mike Rome introduced them for this title match after a break.
Women’s Tag Team Championships: The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane) vs. Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair
There was some trash talking by Asuka and Lynch early on including Lynch mocking an Asuka butt shake. Asuka ran the ropes, Lynch with a shoulder tackle and Asuka kicked Lynch in the ribs. Sane tagged in, kick to the ribs, she whipped Lynch into Asuka and Sane whipped Lynch into the turnbuckle. Lynch fought back with two armdrags, a forearm missed against the ropes and Sane did some taunting leading to a failed corner attack with Lynch hitting a suplex. Flair tagged in, Sane went for attempted chops to the chest, Flair no sold them and Flair hit a chop followed by a strut. Sane jumped on Flair’s back, but then Flair took over with a shoulder tackle followed by Flair overpowering Sane using her legs. Asuka tagged back in, she grabbed a waistlock and Flair hit Asuka with a back elbow to the face. The NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler showed up at ringside with her title as the match went to break.
The match returned with Flair getting a rollup on Asuka for two as they showed Baszler watching from ringside. Flair hit an overhead suplex on Asuka, then a forearm to the face, Flair kicked Sane off the apron and Asuka hit a drop toe hold to send Flair into the turnbuckle. Flair with chops to Asuka, then Asuka pulled the ropes to send Flair out of the ring and Sane stomped on Flair. Asuka with a kick to the chest, Sane with a kick to the back and Sane was the legal woman with a low dropkick. Sane grounded Flair with a headlock, Flair broke free and Sane hit another dropkick. Asuka tagged in leading to a double suplex on Flair. Asuka slapped on an octopus stretch submission, Flair put Asuka on her back and Asuka countered into a pin attempt for two. Asuka with kicks, Flair with a forearm, Asuka pulled down Flair and went for the Asuka Lock, but Flair got out and Asuka went for the armbar. Flair powered out of the armbar and turned it into a powerbomb for two with Sane making the save. Sane tagged in, Flair sent Sane to the apron, Sane up top and Flair avoided an attack leading to a backbreaker followed by Flair sending Sane to the turnbuckle. Lynch got the hot tag against Asuka with Lynch connecting with uppercuts, a flying forearm, a jumping kick on both women and Lynch hit a Bexploder Suplex on Sane. Lynch with two kicks to Asuka and Lynch up top with a missile dropkick on both champions. Baszler got on the apron, so Bayley showed up at ringside and went after Baszler. Baszler knocked down Bayley with a punch and Asuka got a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Lynch for the pinfall win. It went 18 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane)
Analysis: *** It was a pretty standard tag team match with the worst finish in wrestling happening again. Asuka pinning Lynch was likely done because that might be a Women’s Title feud in the future even though this was a cheap win due to the distraction into the dreaded ROLLUP OF DEATH~! finishing move. I think the match went too long. They are four very good workers, but it just wasn't that interesting for a match that went nearly 20 minutes.
Post match, Bayley attacked Lynch from behind when they were outside the ring. Bayley whipped Lynch into the barricade. Baszler left through the crowd while Bayley was standing at ringside.
Analysis: Remember the WWE Draft where they said Smackdown people wouldn’t be on Raw anymore? That didn’t last long. I know it’s only for Survivor Series build, but I’m just saying it was recent. Anyway, this women’s 3-way at Survivor Series should be pretty good with three champions that are all booked in a strong way all the time.
Ricochet was shown talking to Randy Orton backstage with Orton telling Ricochet he does whatever he wants. The OC trio were there trash-talking Humberto Carrillo with Styles mocking Ricochet for being a superhero. Styles told Ricochet to mind his business and start stepping. Ricochet didn’t move. Styles asked if they want a piece of The OC and said if they can find somebody that wants to partner with them to face The OC then bring it on. Orton walked into the picture to say something tells him they’re not going to have to look too far. Orton said what do you say about The OC against Humberto, Ricochet and what’s his name…Mr. RKO Outta Nowhere. That was it.
Analysis: The move to Raw could mean a face turn for Orton since he’s teaming with the good guys here, but it could also be a swerve where he’s getting Ricochet to trust him before Orton shows his heelish ways again. It’s up to the viewers to think about what might happen, which is how it should be.
Drew McIntyre made his entrance with the fans giving him a bit of a pop because he’s from nearby Scotland. It’s not the same country, but still part of Great Britain. Anyway, Drew is up next.
Sin Cara was in the ring as McIntyre’s opponent. Earlier on Monday, Sin Cara showed that he requested his release from WWE. It has not been granted yet as far as we know. There’s no masked woman Carolina with Sin Cara because she was just there for a couple of weeks.
Drew McIntyre vs. Sin Cara
McIntyre was aggressive as he picked up Cara for a suplex into a hard slam. Cara sent McIntyre out of the ring and hit a suicide dive. Cara went up top and he hit a moonsault onto a standing McIntyre to knock him down. Back in the ring, Cara went for a springboard attack off the ropes, but McIntyre hit a Glasgow Kiss headbutt to knock him down. McIntyre with a short arm clothesline for a two count. McIntyre with a chinlock followed by a hard forearm to the back. Cara with a kick to the leg, a dropkick, kick to the face and a headscissors that sent McIntyre out of the ring. Sin Cara went for an attack on the floor, but McIntyre caught him and gave Cara a Powerbomb on the floor. McIntyre sent Cara back in the ring and McIntyre hit the Claymore Kick for the pinfall win after four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Drew McIntyre
Analysis: *1/2 An easy win to put over McIntyre as expected as soon as this match began. That spot on the floor with McIntyre hitting a Powerbomb was the turning point and then McIntyre finished him off for the win. McIntyre needs a feud because he hasn’t done anything meaningful for several months.
Erick Rowan was shown talking to something inside some screen. Rowan said that “daddy’s gonna have a good day” and said something was cute, so the idea was that he was talking to some baby. The segment only lasted about 15 seconds.
R-Truth made his entrance doing his “What’s Up” song because he’s in a match after the break.
There was a plug for WWE Backstage on Fox Sports 1 on Tuesday nights. I don’t get it here in Canada, but I have seen some clips. Mick Foley is a guest this week. The ratings for last week were very low with less than 100,000 viewers on FS1. It’s a tough time slot at 11pmET on a Tuesday night.
24/7 Championship: Samir and Sunil Singh vs. R-Truth
It’s a handicap match for the 24/7 Title held by Samir. The Singhs did their Bollywood dancing to taunt Truth, who came back with punches. Sunil held Truth’s foot and Samir attacked Truth with punches. Truth sent Samir into the ring post and a jumping kick on Sunil followed by Truth hitting a hiptoss. Truth with a corner splash on Sunil followed by a running forearm. Samir pulled Sunil out of the ring, Samir grabbed the 24/7 Title and they ran around the ring to get away from Truth, who chased them. The Singhs managed to get away and all three guys ran to the back along with the referee.
They showed a clip of Truth chasing the Singhs backstage and they went backstage in the women’s locker room. They went into some room where there were no lights, the camera guy was with them and they turned on the lights. Erick Rowan was there. Rowan beat up both Singhs easily. Rowan picked up a leather couch and hit both Singhs in the head to knock them down. R-Truth went into the room, saw the damage to the Sings and said: “Y’all need privacy.” Truth turned off the lights and left.
Match Result: Who Cares?
Analysis: It’s just a comedy title. Rating the matches seems pointless. If the 24/7 Title disappeared I wouldn’t miss it. There were some funny moments when they first debuted the title, but lately they just haven’t found a way to make it interesting at all. Rowan beating up the Singhs is a way to put over Rowan’s power, but it’s not like Rowan is being featured that much. R-Truth’s quest to win back the comedy title failed. Am I supposed to be sad by that? I can’t say I care.
Seth Rollins was shown walking backstage for a promo up next.
There was a graphic for Veterans Day that showed that Bobby Lashley, Lacey Evans and Montez Ford are all veterans.
Seth Rollins made his entrance with one of his shirts and he had on his wrestling gear as well. There was a video package showing NXT invading Smackdown and Raw over the past couple of weeks, which included Rollins facing Adam Cole last week on Raw. That ended in a DQ as well as a big brawl.
Let’s Hear from Seth Rollins
There were some boos from the crowd before Rollins was about to speak, so Seth reacted as if to say “easy” to the fans. Rollins said he digs the energy and told them to bring that. Rollins said he came down to the ring last week just a few days after losing the Universal Title at Crown Jewel, then Triple H showed up with the NXT flag and said he knows what was next for Rollins. Seth said that the past could lead to his future like it worked for Finn Balor. Rollins said he took on Adam Cole for the NXT Title, but by the end of the night, Triple H showed his true colors and he wanted to inspire Rollins. Seth said that NXT is where he started, but this is his show and this is Monday Night Rollins, which led to some mild applause. Rollins said that at Survivor Series, NXT may have started this, but Seth and his gang are going to finish it. Rollins said Survivor Series still a few weeks away, so he wanted to talk about tonight.
Rollins said that it’s no secret that he thinks he is the best wrestler on the planet. Rollins said he doesn’t get that way by taking nights off. Rollins said he’s issuing an open challenge and he wants the United Kingdom’s best, so it’s time to step up and make a name for yourself.
Walter’s music hit, which drew cheers from the crowd as the WWE UK Champion Walter entered along with his Imperium buddies Alexander Wolfe, Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel. Walter said if you want the best, here they are and he introduced himself while noting he’s the WWE UK Champion. Walter said that Imperium is here to honor the integrity of the sport. Walter said that just because you’re not in the US, it doesn’t mean you are safe from NXT Takeover. Rollins said he saw on Smackdown when Imperium took out Heavy Machinery.
Rollins said he appreciated Walter saying he is the best and that title around his waist means he might be right. Rollins said he accepts the challenge, so get your ass down here so he can burn it down. Walter and friends walked to the ring to set up the match.
Analysis: It was a smart move by WWE to utilize Walter in this spot because he is the WWE UK Champion on their NXT UK brand, so they might as well use him in this spot. It’s a fresh matchup as well. Walter is a tremendous in-ring performer and one of the best pure heels in WWE.
A commercial for Smackdown this week promoted an appearance for Universal Champion “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt.
Seth Rollins vs. Walter (w/Alexander Wolfe, Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel)
This is not for Walter’s WWE UK Title. Walter with a hip toss takedown followed by a shoulder tackle. Lawler didn’t know much about Walter while Joseph noted he called a lot of Walter matches. Rollins with a kick to the gut followed by the Slingblade neckbreaker. Rollins jumped off the top, but Walter moved and Walter hit a German Suplex. Walter with a chinlock, Rollins with a jawbreaker and Walter hit a hard chop to the chest. Walter with a single leg crab submission as he sat on the back of Rollins. Walter hit Rollins with two forearms to the chest, Rollins blocked a third attempt and Rollins hit a kick to the head. Rollins with a jumping knee attack off the top rope, then two superkicks and Rollins signaled for The Stomp, so Imperium went into the ring to attack Rollins for the DQ finish after about five minutes.
Winner by disqualification: Seth Rollins
Analysis: ** It was fun while it lasted, but it was not a surprise that ended in a quick DQ due to the presence of Imperium at ringside. I’m sure they would love to have a proper match that was longer than this. Maybe one day down the road, but not here.
The Imperium foursome were attacking Rollins in the ring when The Street Profits hit, which led to Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins making the save. The Street Profits were outnumbered because it was 4 on 2, so they knocked Ford down and stomped on Dawkins. That led to Kevin Owens running down to the ring to help with the save. That led to the four faces beating up the heels and sending them out of the ring. The fans came alive for this.
Analysis: It sets up the obvious tag team match after the break. We see this kind of thing all the time on WWE TV. It’s the Teddy Long “holla holla holla tag team match playa” special.
The bell rang when they returned from break.
Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) vs. Imperium (Walter, Alexander Wolfe, Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel)
Rollins started with Wolfe, kick from Rollins, but then Aichner pulled the ropes down to send Rollins out of the ring and Barthel whipped Rollins into the steel steps. The fans chanted “Kevin Owens” for KO. Walter slammed Rollins back first into the side of the ring apron. Wolfe worked over Rollins with a chinlock. Wolfe hit a bridging German Suplex into a pin for two. Barthel worked over Rollins with punches, Aichner with a spinebuster followed by Barthel’s kick for a two count on Rollins. Walter slapped on a sleeper on Rollins, then Rollins broke free and went after the heels, but Walter hit a dropkick. Walter with a Powerbomb on Rollins, so Owens went into the ring to hit Walter to stop a pin attempt. Walter knocked the Street Profits and Owens off the apron. Walter went up top, so Rollins quickly met him there leading to a superplex. That was impressive on a big guy like Walter. Owens got the hot tag leading to a dive onto Aichner on the floor, then Owens hit superkicks on Barthel, Walter and Wolfe, who was the legal man. Owens went up top and hit a Swanton Bomb for a two count as Walter made the save. Rollins tagged in at that point. Street Profits went back in, Rollins hit a superkick on Walter and Rollins hit a suicide dive on Walter. Ford hit a running somersault dive over the top onto Walter with Ford’s legs hitting the announce table at ringside. That could have been bad in terms of an injury, but it looked like Ford was fine. That was an impressive leap. Dawkins gave a belly to belly suplex to Aichner and Barthel hit an uppercut on Dawkins. Owens hit a Stunner on Barthel and Rollins finished off Wolfe with The Stomp for the pinfall win after about seven minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins)
Analysis: ***1/4 That’s the kind of exciting match we need on Raw. It’s not that common to see a match get only seven minutes and hit the three star level, but this was great to watch. Lots of action, a finish that was built up well and the good guys got the win in the end. It’s not a great showing for Imperium in their first match on Raw, but I don’t think it’s that bad for faces to get the win in a match like that when WWE is building to Survivor Series matches. The energy from Owens really helped the match, the fans loved him and then Rollins got the glory since he’s the leader on Raw.
After the match, the Raw guys celebrated and the announcers were happy about the win. The fans were cheering the loudest for Owens most of that match.
Still to come is another six-man tag with The OC facing Orton, Ricochet and Carrillo.
There was a plug for WWE Backstage on Tuesday at 11pmET with Mick Foley and Adam Cole as the guests this week. You can tell WWE is promoting this show a lot more this week after last week’s disappointing viewership numbers.
Cedric Alexander made his entrance for a match with Andrade entering as the opponent along with manager Zelina Vega.
Andrade (w/Zelina Vega) vs. Cedric Alexander
Alexander with a headscissors takedown followed by a dropkick. Alexander went for a move off the ropes, but Andrade hit a dropkick followed by his “tranquilo” pose in the ring. Andrade slapped on an armbar, Alexander broke free with a chop followed by a dropkick. Alexander with a back elbow that sent Andrade out of the ring followed by a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Alexander with a springboard flatliner for a two count. There was a moment where Andrade almost hit the referee, which distracted the ref, Vega grabbed Alexander’s foot, Andrade with an elbow to the face and a Hammerlock DDT by Andrade finished off Alexander for the pinfall win after four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Andrade
Analysis: **1/4 A quick match to put over Andrade, who is consistently getting wins over lower card wrestlers on the Raw wrestlers. I would like to see a more meaningful feud for Andrade. Alexander has been lost in the shuffle on Raw as well. They need to develop characters for these guys because right now it’s just match after match without much of a story. The win for Andrade was about “building momentum” for him and we know WWE loves that “building momentum” phrase that they program their announcers to say.
Aleister Black was seated in a darkened room doing one of his promos. Black talked about how he’s spoken about being condemned, he’s spoken in riddles and he asked if he has spoken about secrets. Black said he knows who you are and what you have done, so knock on his door and pick a fight with him. That was it.
Analysis: I’m not sure who he is speaking about, but we should find out soon enough. There are plenty of heel wrestlers doing nothing on Raw, so it could be a number of different people. By the way, these Black promos started six months ago. They still haven't done anything with the guy.
A commercial aired for NXT this week where they are building to NXT Takeover Wargames this month and Survivor Series as well.
There was a brief video from John Cena talking about Veteran’s Day followed by photos and tweets from WWE superstars talking about Veterans Day and thanking all of those that serve to protect us. Cena said “thank you and Happy Veteran’s Day” to end the video. The Raw announcers Joseph and Lawler added some more thoughts.
There was a video that aired with WWE thanking the men and women of the Armed Forces. They showed images of troops involved in the wars over the last hundred years. Voiceover guy: “To these brave men and women, these heroes, we remember and we say thank you.” They showed the phrase “Freedom is not free” to end it.
Analysis: That was a nice tribute. In Canada, we have Remembrance Day while America has Veterans Day. No matter the country, I think we all share an appreciation that those that serve in the military to protect us. WWE does a great job of giving tributes to the armed forces.
There was a clip of Bobby Lashley and Lana talking backstage and it looked like a bit of an argument. That’s up next.
Let’s Hear from Lana
The “Ravishing Russian” Lana made her entrance to boos. She looked tremendous in a short silver skirt, jacket and a top showing off the goods. She entered the ring for a promo.
Lana said she was there to confess her sins. She said that her boyfriend Bobby Lashley didn’t want her to talk about it as the fans booed her. Lana said she had to explain to Bobby that she had to tell us the truth because the truth is all that we have. Lana said that she has flaws, but telling the truth isn’t one of them. Lana said she would rather tell the truth than be something she is not. Lana admitted that the truth is she cheated on Rusev, which led to boos and she didn’t want them to boo her. Lana claimed that Rusev cheated on her first and she said she isn’t going to sit around as Rusev cheats on her. She said it’s not her fault that Rusev cheated first. Lana said that seven weeks ago she had sex with Bobby Lashley for the first time. Lawler: “TMI” meaning too much information. Lana smiled about having sex with Lashley seven weeks ago, which drew boos and she said “it’s our sexiversary.” Lana said it was beautiful sex and she said “wow” repeatedly while adding it continues to blow her mind how great it was.
Lana claimed she was monogamous with Rusev and then she was monogamous with only Lashley because she believes in monogamy. Lana said that last week, Ricochet hit Lashley, who accidentally hit Lana and she complained about trending on Twitter and memes making fun of her. Lana claimed that none of us know what’s that like. Lana said her boyfriend Lashley told her to check the doctor and at this point the fans were booing loudly to try to get her to shut up. She said she’s fine while adding her legs are really, really fine. Lana said she’s a perfectly healthy woman that is nine weeks pregnant. That drew more boos from the fans.
Lana told the fans they were stupid, so she broke it down for us. Lana noted that seven weeks ago she had sex with Bobby Lashley, but nine weeks ago she had sex with her soon to be ex-husband Rusev, who she called a sex addict and she claimed Rusev put a “little Machka brat inside me.” That led to “Rusev Day” chants while Lana called Rusev a “Bulgarian son of a bitch.” She said she could tell she was getting bigger and said he put a 15-pound baby in her. Babies are not that big.
Rusev made his entrance in street clothes as he walked down to the ring to join his wife. The fans cheered Rusev along with “Rusev Day” chants. Lana said “how exciting” to see Rusev while fans chanted “daddy’s home” for Rusev.
Rusev asked: “You’re pregnant?” Lana reminded Rusev was a sex addict that wanted sex everywhere with her. Rusev said we’ve heard all that before. Rusev claimed that first he’s a sex addict, then she claimed he’s a cheater and now she’s pregnant? Lana asked if he’s calling her a liar, which got her angry. Rusev said he wondered what she was trying to do and manipulate this whole situation. Lana continued to whine while yelling at him for not believing her. Rusev told her to stop yelling. Lana slapped Rusev repeatedly. That led to Bobby Lashley making his entrance.
Lashley ran down to the ring as Lana jumped on Rusev’s back. Lashley with a running clothesline on Rusev followed by a flatliner that dropped Rusev on his face. Lashley picked up Rusev for a big spinebuster like move. Lashley celebrated with Lana and they left the ring together.
When Lashley and Lana walked toward the entrance, she laughed about it: “I can’t believe he thought I was pregnant.” That’s when the announcers realized she was faking the whole thing. Lashley and Lana kissed followed by some more posing to taunt Rusev, who was looking angry in the ring.
Analysis: This storyline is hated by most WWE fans and I can certainly understand why. I try to defend some of this shit sometimes, but this is weak television. What I have said for weeks now is at least it’s going to get Lashley more heel heat and Rusev more support from the fans, which it is doing, so in that sense it is working to some degree. I just think some of the acting and dialogue is a big turn off for most of the fans. Lana’s overacting was so bad. This was a bad segment. I know that at other times in the show I say that wrestlers need better storylines, but this is not it. They also could have done a better job of announcing that she was not pregnant. The fans in the arena couldn’t hear what she said to the camera at the end. She should have done a promo on the microphone saying she’s not pregnant and ended it that way. If there’s a positive in all of this, at least the fans should care more when Rusev finally has a match with Lashley. That’s the goal of the storyline, so let’s see if it helps both wrestlers long term. That doesn’t mean I like this angle that much. I’m just saying maybe there’s a positive to it if it helps Rusev get to that next level.
Erick Rowan was shown walking to the ring with something he was carrying in his left hand that had a towel over it. It was likely some animal inside some cage of some sort.
Erick Rowan made his entrance for a squash match. As mentioned, he was carrying some sort of cage believed to have an animal, but it was covered by a towel. Rowan put his cage or whatever on the announce table.
Erick Rowan vs. Soner Dursun
Rowan with a clothesline, then he yelled at the guy asking if he knows who he is and Rowan dumped him out of the ring. Rowan with a running cross body block on the floor. Rowan with the hand on the face leading to the Iron Claw Slam for the pinfall win after one minute.
Winner by pinfall: Erick Rowan
Analysis: 1/4* A squash win for Rowan. That’s how WWE loves to book their bigger heels.
Post match, Rowan went over to his covered object and carried it to the back. I’m not going to guess what it is.
The Viking Raiders are up about NXT UK wrestlers Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster. There was a brief video about Andrews and Webster, who are former NXT UK Tag Team Champions. The Viking Raiders were shown backstage getting ready.
There was a nice reaction for NXT UK wrestlers Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster, who are a popular babyface team. That led to a rare plug for NXT UK on WWE Network on Thursdays, which WWE barely mentions. Lawler clearly didn’t know anything about either of these guys.
The Viking Raiders entered with the Raw Tag Team Titles. At Survivor Series, the tag team match is this: Raw Tag Team Champions Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) vs. Smackdown Tag Team Champions The New Day (Xavier Woods and Big E) vs. NXT Tag Team Champions The Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish).
The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) vs. Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster
Webster sent both Raiders out of the ring. Webster jumped into Erik’s arms, so Andrews hit a suicide dive to knock Erik down. They sent Ivar out of the ring and then Andrews/Webster hit somersault dives over the top onto the Viking Raiders to knock them down. Andrews hit a neckbreaker on Erik and Webster tagged in with a senton bomb off the top onto the legs of Erik for a two count. Erik came back with punches and a double overhead suplex. Ivar tagged in with a suicide dive by the big man taking out both opponents. Back in the ring, Ivar splashed both opponents, Erik dropkick and Erik slammed Ivar into Webster against the turnbuckle. Andrews with a jumping kick on both Viking Raiders, but then Erik launched Andrews into the air with Ivar hitting the Viking Experience powerslam for the win after about three minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Viking Raiders
Analysis: *1/2 It was good while it lasted with Andrews/Webster getting in some offense before the inevitable happened with another dominant performance from the Viking Raiders. It wasn’t a total squash at least.
The six-man tag team match is still to come.
There was a commercial for Total Divas featuring more bad acting on camera.
Randy Orton was shown backstage getting ready. Ricochet walked up to him asking if Orton thinks he is stupid and Ricochet noted he knows Orton will just hit him with a RKO like he’s done before. Orton said the last thing Ricochet needs to do to himself is let Orton get in his head. Orton left.
There was a video package about Brock Lesnar and Rey Mysterio’s storyline leading to their WWE Title match at Survivor Series on November 24.
The announcers went over the Survivor Series lineup. The big news from this is they are doing Styles vs. Strong vs. Nakamura as midcard champions in a triple threat. Also, Team Raw in the men’s elimination match is My prediction is Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Kevin Owens, Drew McIntyre and Ricochet.
Analysis: I’m going to get very sick of triple threat matches by the end of Survivor Series. The formula for those matches are so repetitive, so it’s going to be hard to keep it fresh.
Randy Orton made his entrance. It sounded like fake crowd noise was piped in, which is understandable because this was nearly five hours into this taping. There was another plug for the WWE Backstage show. The main event is next.
As Orton stood in the ring, there was a plug for the After the Bell podcast hosted by Corey Graves with Roman Reigns and Finn Balor as the guests. It’s a solid podcast, but sometimes people do interviews in character like Bayley did and that’s a turn off. Most of the interviews are good, though.
Ricochet made his entrance and they gave him a lot of smoke as part of his entrance along with flashing lights. Humberto Carrillo didn’t get much of a reaction, so the fake crowd noise machine was used again.
The OC trio of AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson entered for the main event. They showed a clip of The OC appearing on NXT last week when they beat up The Undisputed Era.
The OC (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) vs. Randy Orton, Ricochet and Humberto Carrillo
There were about 17 minutes left in the show when the match began. Ricochet started with Anderson with a headscissors followed by a dropkick. Orton tagged in Carrillo followed by a staredown with Ricochet. Styles tagged in with an armbar and Carrillo hit a springboard armdrag followed by another armdrag. Ricochet tagged in, jawbreaker by Styles, Ricochet sent Styles into the corner, which knocked Orton down and Ricochet hit a cross body block on Styles. Orton got in Ricochet’s face leading to an argument and a commercial.
There was a plug for WrestleMania tickets going on sale this Friday for WrestleMania 36 in Tampa Bay next April.
Ricochet was still in control with a kick to Styles, Carrillo back in and he hit another arm drag. Carrillo hit a flying headbutt to the chest of Styles. When Carrillo went for an armdrag again, Styles pulled him down off the ropes and the heels took control as Gallows punched away on Carrillo in the heel corner. Styles back in with a forearm to the back of Carrillo, Anderson tagged in, Carrillo with a headscissors on Styles and broke free from Anderson to tag in Ricochet. Running forearm by Ricochet on Anderson, then a headscissors, shoulder tackle, Ricochet kick to Gallows and Styles and Anderson stopped the momentum with a huge spinebuster. Ricochet rolled out of the ring on the floor by the heel corner. Gallows worked over Ricochet with punches followed by a hard whip into the turnbuckle. Gallows with a body slam and a legdrop for two. Gallows slapped on a headlock on Ricochet while Orton shook his head because he wasn’t impressed. Gallows hit Orton with an uppercut punch to knock him down. Ricochet broke free with a kick and an enziguri kick to the head. Styles tagged in, Ricochet hit a back heel kick and Carrillo got the tag. Carrillo with a running elbow, then a springboard kick to the face and a standing moonsault for two. Carrillo went up top for the moonsault, but Styles moved and Carrillo hit the mat hard. Orton tagged in, got a decent pop and hit a snap powerslam on Styles. Orton followed that with the draping DDT off the ropes. Anderson went back in the ring with an uppercut to Orton, Ricochet hit the Recoil double knees on Anderson, Gallows clothesline to Ricochet and Carrillo hit a missile dropkick on Gallows. Carrillo went up top and hit a moonsault onto standing Gallows/Anderson on the floor. Orton stood in the ring with fallen Styles and Ricochet around him. Orton teased that he was going for Ricochet, but then he turned around and hit an RKO on Styles. Orton tagged Carrillo, who went up top and hit a moonsault on Styles for the pinfall win after 16 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Randy Orton, Ricochet and Humberto Carrillo
Analysis: ***1/4 It was the usual WWE six-man tag team match with the face side getting the win and The OC loses again, which has become the norm for them. The main story for this match was about if Ricochet could trust Orton and based on the match, it looks like Ricochet can trust him for now at least. I like how they set up the finish with Orton on fire after the hot tag and the crowd got into it. Carrillo pinning Styles may set up yet another US Title shot for Carrillo soon.
Post match, Carrillo and Ricochet celebrated in the ring. Orton teased giving Ricochet an RKO, but then Orton stopped. Orton told Ricochet: “I do what I want when I want, wherever I want…remember that.” Ricochet nodded his head. Orton left as his music played.
The show ended with Orton looking back in the ring where Ricochet was standing. Orton had a smirk on his face to end it.
Analysis: I like this Orton/Ricochet storyline because it could go either way with Orton either becoming a babyface again or having Orton in his typical babyface role.
Three Stars of the Show
- Seth Rollins
- Randy Orton
5 out of 10
Last week: 6.5
2019 Average: 5.83 (Smackdown is 6.67)
Last 5 Weeks: 6.5, 5.5, 6.5, 5.5, 5.5
2019 High: 8 (September 9)
2019 Low: 3.5 (May 27)
This week’s Raw gets a 5 out of 10.
This felt like a typical average Raw with some decent in ring action, but there wasn’t one match that really stood out. It was just tag matches and then short matches. The storylines aren’t that exciting these days. I’m a huge fan of Walter, so at least seeing him on Raw was fun and I’m sure Rollins had fun wrestling somebody different. The problem is that they set up tag team matches nearly every show in the same manner and it just gets so repetitive. There were a lot of short matches this week with six matches under five minutes. I’m counting whatever that Singhs/Truth “match” was too.
The Rusev/Lashley/Lana love triangle continues to make me groan. I doubt I’m alone in thinking that. The fans are supporting Rusev and they hate Lashley/Lana, so it is getting the reactions that WWE wants to get. I just don’t think it's the kind of storyline that fans would consider as good TV. I’m sure a lot of people are fast-forwarding it or skipping it. Then again, I see the Youtube views already about 12 hours after the show and it has by far the most views of anything else on this show.
I don’t think there was anything on the show that made me more interested in Survivor Series. The Orton/Ricochet story about trust is still early while the women’s champions did a interact a bit. It just felt like WWE’s creative team was going through the motions for most of this week’s Raw.
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
Men’s Traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Raw (Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Kevin Owens, Drew McIntyre and Ricochet) vs. Team Smackdown vs. Team NXT
Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch vs. Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley vs. NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler
United States Champion AJ Styles vs. Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura vs. NXT North American Champion Roderick Strong
Raw Tag Team Champions Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) vs. Smackdown Tag Team Champions The New Day (Xavier Woods and Big E) vs. NXT Tag Team Champions The Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish)
Women’s Traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown (Sasha Banks, Carmella, Dana Brooke) vs. Team NXT
I assume we’ll get “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt defending the Universal Title against Daniel Bryan as well.
I’m going to be sick of triple threat matches by the end of this show.
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