The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 11/12/18 Review


This is the first episode of Raw will WWE is going to end the show right at 11pmET rather than running about seven to ten minutes past that. It’s a story we covered last week, so at least Raw will be shorter by a few minutes.

Live from Kansas City, Missouri (go Rams over Chiefs next Monday), this is the Raw Deal for episode #1328 of Monday Night Raw. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. If you want to support us at TJRWrestling, here’s a Donate Link for our Paypal if you want to contribute in some way to help us grow the site. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner up top. Yes, we know we posted the soccer/football World Cup trophy instead of the WWE trophy. That’s the joke.

There was a video package honoring veterans on Veteran’s Day in the United States. Here in Canada, we have Remembrance Day. It’s important to remember those that sacrificed their lives to allow us to live regular lives. We all know WWE does a great job of paying tribute especially with their annual Tribute to the Troops show every December. To those that have served and continued to serve, thank you for your service.

Battle Royal featuring Raw Tag Teams
The ring was full with Raw tag team wrestlers with the winners getting to be the captains of the Raw team at Survivor Series for the ten team tag team match. Braun Strowman’s music started up and Strowman went down to the ring. Strowman beat up a bunch of dudes on his way to the ring. After that, Strowman went around the ring and beat up guys with running shoulder tackles. Strowman had a chair and cleared the ring.
Match Result: No Contest due to Braun Strowman

Analysis: That made Raw's tag team division look like inept losers, but I don't think WWE's creative team cares about the Raw tag team division now. They should care more.

Braun Strowman stood in the ring and said that tonight’s Monday Night Raw episode is brought to you by the Monster Among Men. The crowd cheered. Strowman sat in the chair in the ring. Strowman said that he’s done chasing acting General Manager Baron Corbin around and he’s not leaving this ring until Corbin gets these hands. Here comes Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon.

Stephanie walked into the ring with Strowman. There were still wrestlers on the floor outside the ring. Stephanie said that she understands that Strowman is upset and he has every right to be, but he cannot hold Raw hostage. Stephanie said that she appreciates this aggression and rage, but she needs him to channel it for what is really important this Sunday at Survivor Series. Stephanie said that Shane McMahon insulted everybody when he stole the World Cup trophy. Strowman said that he doesn’t give a damn about Shane and he doesn’t care about representing Raw at Survivor Series. She said that he better give a damn. Strowman said that with all due respect, he knows when he is getting manipulated and he wants her to bring out Corbin. Stephanie said that Braun’s an intelligent man and she wants to compromise.

Stephanie told Strowman that if he leads Raw to a team victory at Survivor Series then Strowman can get whatever he wants and she said that her word is her bond. Strowman said what he wants is another Universal Championship match against Brock Lesnar. She said “done” and he said before that, he wants Baron Corbin. Strowman said he wants to pick the stipulations, she said “done” and Strowman told her that Corbin should sign a waiver. Stephanie said that there’s only one condition, Strowman can’t lay a hand on Corbin until after Survivor Series. She said that he must prove he’s a team member on the Raw roster. Strowman said that if he doesn’t get what he wants he’ll go to WWE headquarters and destroy everything there. Stephanie said that she’s been very transparent and she’s there to motivate everybody on the Raw roster. Here comes Ronda Rousey, which seemed to upset Stephanie for the interruption.

Rousey got in the ring and Stephanie tried to give her a proper introduction, but Rousey took the microphone from her. Rousey said that there’s nothing Stephanie can say or offer her to motivate her. Rousey said she’s been waiting for a challenger like Becky Lynch and said she can’t wait to show “The Man” how to rip her arm off. The fans chanted “Becky” as Rousey mentioned Becky’s nickname “The Man” repeatedly. Rousey said maybe she didn’t have to wait as she stared at Stephanie.

Baron Corbin, the acting GM of Raw, walked out saying they need to focus their aggression on Smackdown. Corbin said that he’s there to motivate Raw talent. Corbin reluctantly got in the ring with Strowman. Corbin said that they can’t afford to get embarrassed again like when Shane McMahon stole the World Cup. Corbin put his hand on Rousey’s shoulder, so Rousey took down Corbin with a toss over the shoulder. Rousey left the ring and walked up the ramp.

Strowman got in Corbin’s face with Stephanie standing in between them and told Strowman to remember the deal. Stephanie told Corbin to get out of the ring. Strowman told Corbin to enjoy his time as Stephanie’s lapdog because after Survivor Series, Strowman is going to neuter him. The fans cheered as Strowman’s music played and Corbin left with Stephanie.

Analysis: It was an informative opening segment with Stephanie making a deal with Strowman as long as Strowman leads the Raw team to a win at Survivor Series. The part of the promo where Strowman said he wants Corbin and then Lesnar sets up two big matches with one taking place at TLC in December (Strowman vs. Corbin) and then I assume it’s Strowman vs. Lesnar at Royal Rumble for the Universal Title. Perhaps there will be a twist before that and maybe Strowman wins the Rumble, but if not then it sets up nicely for Strowman. I think the deal by Stephanie sets things up well. It got the job done in terms of providing a viable explanation for the viewer at home.

Still to come: Brock Lesnar is there and an interview with Dean Ambrose conducted by Corey Graves.

The duo of Nia Jax and Tamina were shown walking backstage because Tamina faces Ember Moon up next.
(Commercial)
A commercial aired for Total Divas with the girls on some girls trip. I’m sure it’s riveting action that I won’t watch.

Ember Moon made her entrance. The announce team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Renee Young were shown on camera. Renee said she hasn’t heard anything from Alexa Bliss about her picks for Survivor Series. Renee doesn’t hear from her own husband Dean Ambrose either, so apparently, she’s bad at talking to people.

Nia Jax entered with Tamina leading to a clip from last week when Jax joined Tamina in attacking Moon. On a post show Youtube clip, Jax and Tamina put over the fact that they are family because they are part of the Samoan wrestling family. Renee mentioned that.

Tamina (w/Nia Jax) vs. Ember Moon
Tamina with a punch to the back of Moon. Moon came back with punches, kicks to the leg and a step up enziguri by Moon. There was a shot of Alexa Bliss watching the match on a TV backstage. Moon drove Tamina to the mat head first leading to Tamina going to the floor. Moon with a running kick on the apron that sent Tamina into the barricade. Jax distracted Moon, so Tamina hit a clothesline leading to a break.
(Commercial)
The match returned with Tamina still in control. After some boring Tamina offense, Moon with a dropkick and another enziguri kick to the head. Moon was sent into the ropes, she hit a suicide dive on Jax, who did nothing in the match and Jax didn’t even flinch. Back in the ring, Moon with a springboard cross body block on Tamina for a two count. Moon with a cartwheel into an elbow on Tamina by the turnbuckle. Moon up top, Jax distraction and Tamina hit a superkick that knocked Moon down. Tamina went up top and hit a Superfly Splash for the pinfall win after about eight minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Tamina
Analysis: *1/2 The match was decent. Tamina matches usually aren’t very good no matter who the opponent is. She’s very slow and her offense is sleep-inducing. Moon did a good job with the comeback although Tamina’s selling is poor. The finish was what I expected since Jax and Tamina are heel allies now.

After the match was over, Jax hit a leg drop on Moon. The heels stood tall over Moon, who was out on the mat and apparently has no friends because nobody had an interest in helping her.

Analysis: It was a predictable cheap attack to build up Jax and Tamina as a new heel duo. Jax will likely challenge Ronda Rousey for the Raw Women’s Title at TLC in December.

Still to come is Elias vs. Bobby Lashley for a spot on the Raw Survivor Series team and Dean Ambrose interview is next.
(Commercial)
There was a shot of some members of the Kansas City Chiefs at ringside including star players Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. My Rams will beat them next Monday. Just saying.

A video package aired showing the Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose issues that included Seth losing a handicap match to AOP leading to AOP becoming Tag Team Champions. Post match, Ambrose did not offer Rollins an answer for why Ambrose turned on Rollins.

Let’s Hear from Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose
Seth Rollins, the Intercontinental Champion, made his entrance to a big ovation. He greeted some of the KC Chiefs players at ringside and shook hands with Corey Graves, who was in the ring.

The interview began with Graves mentioning that at Survivor Series, Rollins faces the US Champion Shinsuke Nakamura. Rollins said that for the first time ever, he faces Nakamura. Rollins said that it’s going to be a hell of a fight and he said he doesn’t give a damn about Nakamura right now. Graves said that if Rollins’ head isn’t in the game then Nakamura will take his head off. Rollins said on Sunday he’ll be laser focused, but that’s Sunday and this is tonight, so he wants answers in Kansas City (cheap pop). Rollins wanted to know why Ambrose did what he did. Rollins said that Ambrose is not a stupid guy and Dean knows exactly why he did what he did, but he’s not man enough to tell Rollins.

There was a shot of Dean Ambrose sitting on top of a hood of a car in the parking lot with a flaming garbage can beside him. Ambrose said he doesn’t owe anybody an explanation or anything. Ambrose said that people want to ask him why he turned his back on his brothers and why on that night of all nights. Ambrose smiled about how Rollins didn’t have all the answers. Ambrose said maybe Seth is wondering if he shouldn’t have talked to Ambrose like an idiot. Ambrose said that he’s been the same guy the whole time, but he was too selfish and too self-absorbed to see anything else going on around him. Ambrose said that people thought The Shield made him strong, but Ambrose said that The Shield made him weak and that Seth and Roman made him weak. Ambrose said that it’s a new day and a day to be reborn. Ambrose got his Shield vest, put some gasoline on it, said it’s a day to “burn it down” and tossed the vest into the trash can with the fire.

Rollins was shown watching all of that and Rollins left up the ramp with a serious look on his face.

Analysis: I thought Ambrose did well with the promo. It was the typical heel promo saying that it was Seth and Roman’s fault that Dean did what he did because they treated Dean like a fool and laughed at Dean as much as they did. It’s typical heel speak to have a guy act like a jerk and then blame other people for their actions. I also think it was smart to not have a physical confrontation. Build up to that at a future show.
There was a shot of Cole and Renee at the commentary desk with Renee saying that this is her husband Dean’s story to tell and he’s talking in riddles, so she doesn’t know much about his behavior.
Analysis: They are booking her to be an inept wife in this whole thing that has no answers about her own husband’s actions for one month now. I know WWE doesn’t care to come up with the little things for stories like this, but they should give her better things to say.

Up next is a look at Drew McIntyre beating Kurt Angle last week.
(Commercial)
A commercial aired for WrestleMania with overpriced tickets on sale this Friday.

A video package aired about Drew McIntyre beating Kurt Angle in the main event of Raw last week.

Analysis: Apparently it was Angle’s booking idea to put over McIntyre in such a way that McIntyre won with the Ankle Lock that Angle uses. That’s awesome of Angle to put over Drew in such a way. I wish Kurt didn’t stay in TNA as long as he did because he could have had some great angles earlier this decade as a veteran that could still go.

The duo of Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler made their entrance.

McIntyre did a promo saying he was going to take over Raw and he asked if we believed him now. McIntyre said that first, he broke The Shield and last week he broke Kurt Angle. McIntyre talked about how he took a national treasure like Angle and he made him an embarrassment. McIntyre said that Angle gave him everything he had, but Drew said that when he looked Angle in the eyes, he saw the will to win fading and Angle realized he was in the ring with a superior man. McIntyre talked about how Angle was crawling on his hands and knees. McIntyre said that what happened next is Angle started crying. McIntryre said he was never more disgusted in his entire life. McIntyre talked about how he’s been working for the last 18 years and sacrificed so much for this. McIntyre said that “Raw is my show now and it belongs to me and I will mold it in my image.” McIntyre said that there is no more room for weakness and he will not allow any more nostalgia acts on this show. Good luck with that in this company.

Finn Balor showed up for the interruption with the crowd giving him a big ovation. Balor went into the ring.

McIntyre said that Balor had a lot of guts getting into the ring with him. Balor said that what McIntyre said was too much for him to listen to. Balor told McIntyre that he crossed the line and that he could have just beaten Kurt instead of humiliating him. McIntyre told Balor that dignity is not a right reserved to all. McIntyre told Balor he could have done more to Angle, but he didn’t want to. McIntyre told Balor that last week he thought that Drew was saving him from Lashley due to some European pride, but McIntyre told him he’s sick of guys like him. McIntyre told Balor to leave. Balor told McIntyre to shut up and he told him he’s been dealing with bullies his whole life. Balor challenged McIntyre to a match right now leading to “yes” chants from the crowd. McIntyre said he didn’t know what was more fragile, Finn’s feelings or his body. McIntyre told Balor if he wants a match he’s got a match, but not with him, it’s with the man that is the true Best in the World…Dolph Ziggler. McIntyre told Balor that if he can beat somebody like Ziggler then maybe McIntyre will lower himself to his level. Ziggler wasn’t too thrilled with that, but McIntyre hit Balor with a headbutt and they went to break.
Analysis: Good promo from Drew. I like his intensity and confidence. He's a guy they can build around for sure. Plus, he deserves it and he’s right in talking about how he’s had ups and downs in the business. McIntyre is very good at being a heel too, so that helps this show a lot right now. I like that Balor stepped up to him the way he did because the crowd loves Balor as much as anybody on this show.

A commercial aired for Mixed Match Challenge this week.

(Commercial)

The match was officially sanctioned by interim Raw GM Baron Corbin. Of course it was. Balor was selling the headbutt attack, the ref checked to see if he was okay and the bell rang.

Finn Balor vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/Drew McIntyre)
Ziggler took control of the action with a headlock. Ziggler kept on grabbing headlocks for the first few minutes of this match. That suggests they are going to have a longer match if the pace is this slow early on. Ziggler with a kick to the knee, Balor with a boot to the face, Balor with a punch and a basement dropkick from Balor. Ziggler got a rollup and Balor came back with a jumping kick to the head. Balor up top, Ziggler knocked Balor down to crotch him on the top rope and Balor collapsed to the mat as the show went to break a few minutes into it.
(Commercial)

The match returned with Ziggler still in control with a neckbreaker. Balor kicked Ziggler back, Balor with a chop, Ziggler back elbow and Balor with an overhead kick to the face leading to both guys getting knocked down. That was a cool exchange as McIntyre yelled “we cannot lose” to Ziggler. They battled by the turnbuckle, Balor with a kick to the head and a double foot stomp for a two count. Balor wanted Ziggler to get back up leading to a Balor takedown with the Slingblade. Ziggler with a kick followed by a jumping DDT that always gets a two count for Ziggler, yet he’s always shocked it didn’t get the win. Ziggler with a kick to the knee followed by a Fameasser that is also a spot that always gets a two count. Balor blocked a Zig Zag by holding the ropes and Balor hit a dropkick that sent Ziggler into the turnbuckle. Ziggler back up, Balor sent him out of the ring and Balor hit a dropkick on McIntyre on the floor. Balor with a back body drop on Ziggler over the top to the floor. Balor with a suicide dive over the top onto Ziggler and McIntyre. Balor went up top for the Coup de Grace, Ziggler moved, Balor favored his knee, Ziggler rollup and Balor countered with a rollup where he held onto the upper body of Ziggler for the pinfall win after 14 minutes of action. The crowd was really into the final few minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Finn Balor
Analysis: ***1/4 That was a great match with an excellent finishing sequence. I liked the last few minutes with Balor clearing house as best he could with dropkicks, that awesome somersault dive and even after he missed his finisher, he managed to get the win. It was the right call to give Balor the win because he needs it after all of those matches against Bobby Lashley where he looked like a loser. Ziggler isn’t going to get hurt by a loss like that. A great match was what this show needed.

Post match, Balor exited the ring quickly as the winner while McIntyre was fuming inside the ring.

Analysis: It seems like this is setting up McIntyre vs. Balor for TLC next month since Strowman vs. Corbin is Strowman’s main match there, so it keeps Strowman and McIntyre apart for something next year.

Still to come is the announcement of the Raw women’s team at Survivor Series and Brock Lesnar is there.
(Commercial)
The duo of Stephanie McMahon and Baron Corbin walked up to Finn Balor backstage. Stephanie said that was an impressive performance by Balor and that’s why he is going to be on Team Raw at Survivor Series. Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler showed up with McIntyre looking angry. Stephanie told them that it’s her show and she told McIntyre he can’t hurt his teammate Finn Balor. Stephanie tried to motivate Ziggler and McIntyre by telling them to go after her brother Shane and the Smackdown team at Survivor Series. Stephanie told them to work together at Survivor Series and then after they can fight if they want.
Analysis: Good motivation technique by Stephanie McMahon by telling the guys they can work together at Survivor Series to win and then after that, they can settle their issues. Since there is nothing on the line at Survivor Series, it has hurt that show big time, but at least Stephanie’s involvement on Raw this week has helped make it matter a little bit more.

A clip aired from Becky Lynch’s promo on Smackdown last week.

Ronda Rousey was interviewed backstage by Charly Caruso. Rousey called Lynch “The Man” which is Lynch’s nickname. Rousey said that she wasn’t making fun of Lynch’s past in her life and noted that while Lynch was doing other stuff in her life, Ronda was learning about applying armbars. Rousey ranted about ripped jeans and avocado toast. I don't know what that has to do with Lynch, but whatever. Rousey ripped on Lynch for being a whiner, being soft and for being a complainer and said that she didn’t pour her heart and soul into this and things like “fight like a girl” so that another woman can call herself “The Man” like Lynch. Nia Jax and Tamina showed up to wish her luck at Survivor Series. Jax is the next challenger. They left.
Analysis: I thought it was a poor promo from Rousey. When she got really intense she talked a bit too fast. She needs to slow down a bit so the audience can soak in what she’s saying. If you go too fast with your words, it’s not going to lead to much of a reaction. Going a bit slower would have helped.

The Riott Squad entered for a Ruby Riott match up next.

(Commercial)
Ruby Riott did a promo talking about her actions last week when she broke Natalya’s sunglasses given to her by her late father Jim Neidhart, which led to Natalya crying and the sudden end of the tag team match.

Riott said that when she broke Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart’s sunglasses, she struck a nerve with Natalya and the WWE Universe. Riott said she’s had a week to think about her actions and she completely understands why she’s gotten the backlash that she’s gotten. Riott said that Jim was a future WWE Hall of Famer that was a badass powerhouse with the most infectious life and in a moment, she took those happy memories and she turned them into nightmares. Riott said not only that, she humiliated Natalya in front of a worldwide audience. Riott laughed and said: “And I enjoyed every second of it.” The crowd booed her. Riott said that she didn’t take it too far, she didn’t take it far enough. Riott said that last week she wanted Natalya to feel real emotion and to bawl like a baby, which is what Natalya did. Riott said that at that moment it clicked why Jim wore those sunglasses and it was because he was ashamed to look at his own daughter…so there’s the interruption.

Natalya attacked Riott from behind while Logan and Morgan left the ring. Natalya tripped up Riott and beat her up with punches. The Riott Squad trio attacked Natalya to keep her down. Logan picked up Natalya leading to Riott going off the ropes with the Hart Attack clothesline on Natalya. Nobody helped Natalya.
Analysis: I thought the Riott promo was delivered well by her. That’s probably the most promo time she has had on Raw. Yes, it’s a cheap heat type of promo, but it works because it’s based on a real thing that happened with Natalya’s dad dying. The problem with the beating at the end is that Natalya has teamed with Sasha Banks and Bayley multiple times in the last couple of weeks against The Riott Squad, yet there was no sign of either woman to try to help Natalya. It makes Natalya look like a loser with no friends because her buddies didn’t care enough to help her when she got beat up. It’s not like WWE’s announcers will mention it. That’s just something the fans are left to wonder about.

The announce team went over the Survivor Series lineup.
(Commercial)
A video aired about Smackdown’s team at Survivor Series potentially having issues.

Battle Royal Featuring Raw Tag Teams
It was time for a re-do of the battle royal from earlier in the show. Does raw have a tag team division? You could have fooled me. The first guy eliminated was Heath Slater, so his team with Rhyno was eliminated. Scott Dawson of the Revival was the next one eliminated, so that team is gone. Lucha House Party had three guys in the match and Konnor of The Ascension tossed them out. Bo Dallas was also tagged out from The B Team, so his team with Curtis Axel were eliminated. Chad Gable slapped on an armbar on Konnor of The Ascension against the ropes and Roode dumped out Konnor to eliminate him. The match went about three minutes.
Winners: Bobby Roode and Chad Gable

The win meant that Bobby Roode and Chad Gable are the captains of the Raw Tag Team Survivor Series team.

Analysis: * A quick match to put over Roode and Gable as the best of Raw’s loser tag teams. This division is so weak. It would have been nice to see The Revival get booked better, but I think I have written that for over a year now. This was a bad battle royal that felt very rushed.

Paul Heyman was shown backstage because he’s up next with Brock Lesnar.
(Commercial)
PLUG TIME: Check out our WWF in 2000 section only on TJRWrestling with weekly recaps of every Raw and Smackdown from the WWF in 2000, which was my favorite year in WWE history. I enjoy getting to relive the prime years of legends like The Rock and Triple H, then seeing the likes of Kurt Angle and Chris Jericho on the road to becoming top guys. I also like watching tag teams like Edge and Christian, the Hardy Boyz, Dudley Boyz and others really fortifying tag team division. There’s even stupid stuff like Mae Young giving birth to a hand baby, which I just reviewed in the last week. Oh, the horror! Anyway, all of that plus a whole lot more is available in our WWF in 2000 section only on TJRWrestling, so please check it out now.

Let’s Hear from Paul Heyman talking for Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar, the Universal Champion, made his entrance to a mixed reaction with more boos than cheers. Paul Heyman was with Lesnar, of course.

Heyman introduced Lesnar as the first ever two-time Universal Champion during the usual introduction. Heyman congratulated Braun Strowman for showed a lot when he took five F5s from Brock Lesnar. Heyman also congratulated Strowman for being able to work his way back into the title picture on Raw. Heyman also congratulated the Smackdown roster for avoiding the beating handed out at Survivor Series.

Heyman also said congratulations to AJ Styles, which led to fans chanted “AJ Styles” for the WWE Champion. That caused Heyman to pause. Heyman said that the fans chant for Styles because they believe in Styles based on what Styles did last year at Survivor Series against Lesnar. Heyman said that this year, Styles will check into the hotel in Suplex City, then he said if you don’t know Hotel California references, Google it. That was funny. Heyman said that there is nobody in WWE or even in UFC that Lesnar wants to beat up or take to Suplex City more than AJ Styles. Heyman claimed there was nobody that Lesnar wants to F5 at Survivor Series more than Styles. Heyman said that this Sunday at Survivor Series it’s Suplex City, F5, 1…2…3 and your winner is the champion of all champions…Brock Lesnar. Heyman said that’s not just a prediction, that’s…and here comes Jinder Mahal.

Jinder Mahal made his entrance with Samir and Sunil Singh by his side. Mahal said that last year he was focused on his match against Brock Lesnar last year at Survivor Series and he told Lesnar not to look past Styles like Mahal did last year when he lost the WWE Title to Styles. Mahal suggested that he offer services to Lesnar to help him with his mantra. Lesnar told Mahal to come into the ring and told Heyman to do it since he’s Jewish.

Mahal got into the ring with Lesnar and told him to repeat “shanti” so Lesnar teased doing it while Heyman left the ring. Lesnar predictably decked Mahal with a clothesline. Lesnar hit Sunil Singh with a huge German Suplex across the ring. Lesnar hit Samir with a huge German Suplex as well. Another German Suplex by Lesnar to Sunil and one more German Suplex to Samir as well. The fans were chanting “one more time” at Lesnar. Lesnar picked up Sunil and tossed him onto Mahal, who didn’t catch Sunil and that was a rough landing for Sunil. Lesnar left the ring and hit a F5 on Mahal on the floor outside the ring. That was enough of that as Lesnar left with the Universal Title on his shoulder and Heyman by his side.

Analysis: The segment was effective in terms of making Lesnar look like a badass. I don’t think any of us expected Jinder Mahal for the interruption, but it does make sense in the storyline since he originally challenged Lesnar last year for Survivor Series until WWE’s creative team changed things up by putting the WWE Title on AJ Styles. That title change last year was a great move that has led to AJ’s one year WWE Title reign. Some of the bumps by the Singhs were nasty with each guy landing on their heads. When Lesnar tossed Sunil towards Mahal on the floor it looked like an awful landing for Sunil. This segment was also a reminder of how far Mahal has fallen from where he was a year ago. I don’t think that’s a bad thing because his WWE Title reign was questionable anyway. Does this really make me more excited about Lesnar vs. Styles? Not really. I look forward to the match because it was good last year. This didn’t really add to it.

There was a shot of Alexa Bliss talking to Stephanie McMahon backstage with Bliss announcing the Raw team later.

It’s Elias vs. Bobby Lashley for a spot on Team Raw up next.

(Commercial)

Bobby Lashley was already in the ring with his manager Lio Rush. It led to a promo from Rush talking about Lashley’s body being incredible while saying that Lashley was going to do his favorite pose, which was bending over to show his ass to the crowd.

Elias was on the stage with his guitar with a spotlight on him. Elias took out his phone as the fans sang “Oh Walk With Elias” just like the Manchester fans last week. Elias called child services on Rush for being in the ring with Lashley and thought he was ten years old, so the crowd laughed. Elias said that he knows it’s disturbing, which is why he called. Lashley called Elias a clown that was trying to be funny and told him to try to be funny to Lashley’s face. Elias let us know that Lashley sucks and he’s going to make Rush shut up. Elias walked closer to the ring. Elias played on the guitar leading to his “Who Wants to Walk With Elias?” bit, the fans cheered and that led to a break.
Analysis: The promo from Elias was mildly funny. At least it was different from the usual. Elias has done well as a face so far.

(Commercial)

Bobby Lashley (w/Lio Rush) vs. Elias
Elias began with punches, Lio Rush was on the apron, Elias knocked him down with a punch and Elias sent Lashley out of the ring. Elias with a running knee off the apron onto Lashley on the floor. Elias whipped Lashley into the steel ring post and Lashley whipped Elias into the steel steps. When Elias tried to go back in, Rush held Elias’ legs and that kept Elias on the floor, so Lashley won by countout in three minutes.
Winner by countout: Bobby Lashley
Analysis: 1/2* That was weak. Why even book a match if that’s all you’re going to do? This show is three hours long and they can’t find more than three minutes for these guys to have a competitive match. If they want to do that finish caused by Rush that’s fine, but this felt like such a waste since the match was so short. Why should we care about Survivor Series if the creative team doesn’t seem to care? The build has been so weak.

After the match, Elias tossed Rush out of the ring and onto Lashley on the floor. Elias' music played because he stood tall even though he lost the match.

Analysis: I wasn’t paying attention to the details. It’s what happens sometimes when Raw bores me and I spend more time looking at Twitter instead. Sorry. I don’t think it matters.

Up next is Alexa Bliss announcing who is on the Raw women’s team at Survivor Series. There are about 30 minutes left in the show.

(Commercial)

There were images shown of Mickie James, Dana Brooke, Titus O’Neil and Apollo Crews visiting troops at a hospital in Kansas City earlier on Monday.

Alexa Bliss entered for the announcement of the Raw women’s team with Mickie James walking behind her along with Nia Jax and Tamina behind her.

Alexa Bliss Announces Raw Women’s Team at Survivor Series
Bliss stood in the ring to talk about how important it was for Team Raw to win at Survivor Series to prove they are superior to Smackdown. In the ring with Bliss were Mickie James, Nia Jax and Tamina.

Bliss announced that Natalya had an emotional night, so she sent her home while noting that Natalya is on the team. Bliss introduced Mickie James on the team as a six-time champion and future Hall of Famer. You all know she is my favorite person on the team. Nia Jax and Tamina are also on the team with Bliss telling Jax she hopes she can put aside their issues in the past. Now that Jax is a heel again, I guess they can be friends until Jax turns face again.

Bliss said that the winner of this next match will be the fifth member of Team Raw: Sasha Banks made her entrance. The opponent is Bayley. The announcers were shocked by it. Nobody watching the show was shocked by it.

To sum it up, the Raw women’s team at Survivor Series is Nia Jax, Mickie James, Tamina, Natalya and either Sasha Banks or Bayley. Their match is next.

Analysis: The team is okay. I’m not that surprised by any of the choices.

(Commercial)

The match began after the break. The other women on the team were standing outside the ring to watch the match. The match started at 10:43pmET, so they should get plenty of time.

Sasha Banks vs. Bayley
Banks smashed Bayley in the face with a knee to send Bayley out of the ring. Banks took down Bayley with a headscissors on the floor. Back in the ring, Banks up top and she hit a double knees attack to take down Bayley. Graves did his usual bit about Banks stabbing people in the back with Renee getting upset about it. Bayley went for a dropkick near the ring post, Banks caught her and sent Bayley ribs first into the ring post. Banks with a running knee attack on Bayley against the ring post, but Bayley moved and Sasha hit the post leading to Bayley getting a rollup for two. Banks was selling a right knee injury as Bayley hit a neckbreaker against the second rope. Banks with another stiff knee to the face of Bayley and Bayley came back with a Bayley to Belly on the ring apron. Both women fell to the floor leading to a commercial.
(Commercial)
The match returned with Bayley on the top rope and jumping off with an elbow drop, but Banks got her knees up to break up the pin. Banks slapped on a Bank Statement submission and the other women went into the ring to attack Banks and Bayley. It went eight minutes as the match was thrown.
Match Result: No Contest
Analysis: ** They were on their way to having a good match like they have done in the past, but then it just ended abruptly.

Alexa Bliss said since there was no winner, she would announce the fifth member of Team Raw…it’s Ruby Riott. That led to Riott entering with her buddies in the Riott Squad.

There was a shot of the locker room with Becky Lynch attacking Ronda Rousey with the DisArmHer armbar on Rousey. That was a nice surprise and then referees showed up to break it up.
Analysis: Random appearance from Lynch! I like it. Cheap attack. The Smackdown crew was off tonight with no live event after the long European tour, so I thought something might happen.

Lynch showed up in the arena and Lynch had help because the other Smackdown women were there wearing Smackdown shirts. The Smackdown women invaded Raw and cleaned house. Lynch had a bloody nose from something (it was an elbow from Nia Jax). Ronda Rousey ran out there for a save for the Raw team, but she was holding her left arm selling the attack from Lynch. Lynch went into the ring with the steel chair and hit Rousey three times with it. The Smackdown women continued the attack including an impressive Spear by Charlotte Flair on Nia Jax on the floor.

Rousey was left alone in the ring as the Smackdown women left over the barricade and climbed up the stairs to leave the building together. Lynch’s face was all bloody. Rousey made angry faces in the ring as Lynch left looking proud of herself. Lynch posed on the top of the steps while blood was all over her. Replays aired of what happened. Rousey was left in the ring alone looking mad about what happened.

Stephanie McMahon was in the office yelling at Corbin about what happened there. Corbin said he didn’t know how they got in there. Stephanie said that this cannot happen. She asked how Corbin is going to fix this problem. Corbin said he’ll find a way. The show ended with Rousey having a serious look on her face and that was the end of Raw at 11pmET with no overrun.
Analysis: That was a hot ending that this Raw really needed. The women saved the day. I’m sure WWE isn’t going to like that Lynch had a bloody nose and blood all over her, but that’s what happens in wrestling sometimes. The brawl was intense with the Smackdown women looking dominant and working together even though it’s weird to see Lynch and Flair fighting on the same side. I guess it’s just WWE pushing the “brand supremacy” idea as something that matters a whole lot to the talent. The stuff with Lynch and Rousey was great. If they could have done that for the past month with intense attacks it would have built up the anticipation of the match that much more. I still like what they did here. It worked well.

The weird about the ending was that Becky Lynch’s music was playing, so if Raw was mad about her being there, why is her music playing? I don’t expect WWE to explain that.

I think the ending of Raw with Stephanie yelling at Corbin could lead to the Raw guys going after the Smackdown guys on Smackdown this week to try to build up that match a bit more.

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Becky Lynch – A Smackdown superstar as the Raw star? Sure. “The Man” deserves it!
  2. Finn Balor
  3. Dolph Ziggler

 

The Scoreboard
6 out of 10
Last week: 6
2018 Average: 5.76
Last 5 Weeks: 6, 3.5, 6, 5, 7
2018 High: 8 (February 19)
2018 Low: 3.5 (October 29)

Final Thoughts
I give it a 6 out of 10.
My rating was about a 4.5 and then the last segment was so great that it boosted it up to a 6, so thanks to the women from the best show Smackdown for the boost.
It felt like an average Raw this week with the Balor/Ziggler match standing out from the rest. The other in-ring action was disappointing for most of the show. There were some bad finishes too.
There were good promos from Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre and Finn Balor as well. I’m not the biggest Stephanie McMahon fan, but she deserves some credit because she played her role perfectly in her attempts to motivate the Raw talent at Survivor Series and that was needed.
I think the build for Survivor Series has been poor. This show didn’t get me excited about it much at all aside from the final ten minutes.


The next WWE pay-per-view is Survivor Series on Sunday, November 18 in Los Angeles. Here’s what we know so far.

Raw’s Universal Champion Brock Lesnar vs. Smackdown’s WWE Champion AJ Styles
Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey vs. Smackdown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch
Men’s 5-on-5 Elimination Match: Team Raw (Drew McIntyre, Dolph Ziggler, Braun Strowman, Finn Balor, Bobby Lashley) vs. Team Smackdown (Daniel Bryan, The Miz, Shane McMahon, Rey Mysterio, Samoa Joe)
Women’s 5-on-5 Elimination Match: Team Raw (Nia Jax, Mickie James, Tamina, Natalya, Ruby Riott) vs. Team Smackdown (Charlotte Flair, Asuka, Carmella, Naomi, Sonya Deville)
Raw’s Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins vs. Smackdown’s United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura
Raw Tag Team Champions AOP (Akam & Rezar) vs. Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro)
Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy vs. Mustafa Ali
Tag Team 5-on-5 Elimination Match: Team Raw (Bobby Roode and Chad Gable, Lucha House Party, The Ascension, The B Team and The Revival) vs. Team Smackdown (The Usos, New Day and three other teams) - This is going on the Kickoff Show.

Our preview goes up on Friday and my review on Sunday.
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You can contact me using any of the methods below. See ya next time for the Smackdown review. Go Los Angeles Rams, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. Thanks for reading.

John Canton
Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com
Twitter: @johnreport
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