Live (on tape delay) from Glasgow, Scotland this is the Raw Deal for episode #1224. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.
There was a video package featuring highlights from last week’s show including Seth Rollins making the save for his former Shield buddy Roman Reigns to end the night. It was my birthday last Friday and I drank enough to completely forget about last week’s Raw, so mission accomplished.
It was noted by Michael Cole that this is the first time Raw has taken place in Glasgow, Scotland. Normally they get live events while England gets Raw.
The Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon made her entrance. Lots of boos with some cheers as well. She said General Manager Mick Foley isn’t there, so she pulled a Foley to say they are glad to be there in Glasgow. She hyped up Raw vs. Smackdown Live at Survivor Series. She said Raw is in for the fight of its life (that’s going a bit far) and noted the three Survivor Series matches set to happen. She mentioned Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg leading to “Goldberg” chants. Stephanie introduced the five men on Team Raw.
Kevin Owens, the Universal Champion, entered first. Good ovation for the champ who walked out in a suit although no tie. Chris Jericho is in his street clothes including a scarf and of course he had The List. Loud cheers for Jericho. The boo birds were out for US Champion Roman Reigns. Braun Strowman entered to very little reaction. Those four names were known. Number five was obvious, but it wasn’t official last week.
Seth Freakin’ Rollins is the fifth man on Team Raw. Really good ovation for him.
Analysis: No surprise that they picked Rollins as the fifth team member. I think Raw’s going to win the match at Survivor Series with Rollins and Reigns as the survivors. Just a hunch at this point.
Rollins got in the ring and told Owens that nothing is finished between them as well as Sparkle Crotch (Jericho). Fans chanted “Sparkle Crotch.” A graphic showed the five Smackdown guys they are against: Styles, Ambrose, Orton, Wyatt and Corbin. It’s Smackdown Live’s best guys except John Cena. Stephanie tried to hype up her guys to get them to work together and be a team.
Stephanie told them they are going to decimate and annihilate Raw. She told them they are going to fight like their jobs depend on it because they do. Stephanie left.
Analysis: What a stupid promo. As if they would be fired if they were to lose. This Stephanie character is so bad. She’s not a bad performer, but the character sucks.
Owens talked about how Team Kevin and Chris have been taking over Raw (crowd cheers), but along the way they’ve made some enemies. Jericho told Roman and Seth that they are angry about Chris & Kevin being the Universal Champion. Jericho said even though those two guys are Stupid Idiots just like everybody in Glasgow, you are OUR stupid idiots. Owens told them that they all had to listen to the co-captains Kevin and Chris. Jericho told the other guys to listen to them. Kevin said this can’t be like that group The Shield, which Owens said was a stupid name. Jericho said that he and Owens lead by example. Jericho did his usual question: “Do you understand what we are saying to you right now?” Reigns went after Owens and punched him out of the ring. Rollins went after Jericho. Strowman with shoulder tackles for Jericho and Rollins. Reverse Chokeslam by Strowman on Jericho. Owens got away from Reigns to avoid a confrontation.
Stephanie showed up at the top of the ramp. She said that at Survivor Series they will be a team but tonight it’s every man for himself. Stephanie set up Roman vs. Seth vs. Chris vs. Braun vs. Kevin. It’s a Fatal 5-Way match that I assume is not for the Universal Title. Stephanie left as the segment came to a close.
Analysis: It was the typical Raw opening segment that went nearly 20 minutes. I liked the way Stephanie was really aggressive in terms of trying to motivate the team by saying their jobs are on the line if they don’t win, which sounds a bit harsh, but she is a heel character most of the time. Good lines by Owens and Jericho acting like egotistical jerks that were bossing people around. Too bad Jericho didn’t put anybody on the list. As for the main event, it’s a big match that we haven’t seen, so I like that they are doing something fresh instead of a repeat match like we see too often in WWE.
The Team Raw tag teams are New Day, Cesaro/Sheamus, Enzo/Cass, Gallows/Anderson and Golden Truth. We will also find out the five women on Team Raw at Survivor Series.
The Cruiserweight Champion Brian Kendrick was shown walking backstage.
The cruiserweights entered for a tag team match. Cole mentioned the new cruiserweight show called 205 Live coming to WWE Network later this month with Graves saying he’s excited to be an announcer for it (with Mauro Ranallo).
Noam Dar made his entrance. He’s from Scotland, so he received a huge ovation from the crowd. This is his Raw debut. He was part of the Cruiserweight Classic tournament in the summer.
Analysis: Dar is only 23 years old, which I believe makes him the youngest male wrestler on WWE’s main roster right now. He’s a pretty good talent, but also has his best years ahead of him.
Rich Swann & Sin Cara vs. Brian Kendrick & Noam Dar
The crowd was really excited to see Dar obviously. Not much happened early on. Swann tagged in against Kendrick with clotheslines and a stomp to the back. Kendrick got double boots to the face, Swann with a hurricanrana and rolling thunder into a splash for a two count as Dar made the save. Cara hit a senton over the top to the floor. Swann got a rollup on Kendrick where he sat on top and that was enough for the win. It went about six minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Rich Swann & Sin Cara
Analysis: **1/4 It was an okay match with Swann pinning Kendrick again. The last time Swann did that it was in a match prior to Hell in a Cell when Kendrick didn’t have the title. The crowd was hot for Dar in his home country, but they didn’t give him that much offense.
Post match, Kendrick got in the ring with Dar. Kendrick told Dar that he didn’t lose the match, Dar did. Kendrick said that Dar lost in the Cruiserweight Classic because he wasn’t good enough and he lost in his Raw debut because of a lack of heart. Kendrick said that Dar fails to recognize that Kendrick is the best cruiserweight in the world. Fans chanted for Dar. Kendrick punched Dar. Dar came back with a kick and then a running kick to the head to knock Kendrick out of the ring. Dar’s music played to end it.
Analysis: Good way to make the crowd happy after Dar lost. I’m not sure if he’ll be a face or heel in America, but on this show it was smart to have him looking like a face at the end.
A video about Goldberg vs. Lesnar is up next.
PLUG TIME: I am posting reviews of every WWE Survivor Series event exclusively on TJRWrestling.net in the month of November. To date, I’m up to 1993. Check out the site every day for new reviews going up daily for the entire month. It’s fun to re-live some of these shows, even the bad ones. My rant about the Gobbledy Gooker in the 1990 review was fun to write.
The Raw announce team of Michael Cole, Byron Saxton & Corey Graves talked about Survivor Series.
There was a video package about Goldberg showing his streak in WCW as well as the WCW World Title win over Hulk Hogan. It skipped other things to show his WWE World Title win. Goldberg spoke in a backstage setting talking about how his first reason to come back is for his wife and son to see him wrestle. Goldberg mentioned he beat Lesnar at WrestleMania 20 and he thinks it’s fair as a competitor to give Lesnar a shot. Goldberg reacted to Lesnar mentioning his wife and son and Goldberg said that it pisses him off. Clips were shown of Goldberg working out in preparation for the match. Goldberg says Lesnar is an animal, but Goldberg is an animal too. He thinks fans have been clamoring for somebody to kick Lesnar’s ass and he’s the guy to do it.
Analysis: It was a way to plug the Goldberg/Lesnar match at Survivor Series without having them on the show. Good line at the end by Goldberg.
Stephanie McMahon was on the phone inviting Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan to go to Raw next week. Sami Zayn walked up to her and wondered why she had asked him to come there. Stephanie told Zayn that she finds him irritating and she doesn’t get why Mick Foley wanted Zayn to face Dolph Ziggler for the IC Title at Survivor Series. Stephanie said she thinks that spot belongs to Rusev, so Zayn will face Rusev. The winner of that match faces Ziggler for the IC Title at Survivor Series. She wants the winner of that match to bring the IC Title back home to Raw.
Analysis: Ziggler issued an open challenge to a Raw guy on last week’s Smackdown. I have no problem with Zayn vs. Rusev to see who will face Ziggler. That makes sense to me.
The team of Enzo Amore & Big Cass made their entrance doing their usual routine. The Scotland crowd was on fire for them with Enzo doing the usual routine. It was a short promo with Cass doing the SAWFT bit to end it.
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson made their entrance followed by the Golden Truth and then Cesaro & Sheamus.
The New Day will address the other teams after the break.
The teams were in the ring. Sheamus did a promo to say what a great country Ireland is. Cesaro pointed out that they like him here like they do everywhere else – not at all. Sheamus ripped on Scotland again leading to a “Scotland” chant. Sheamus called himself the captain and Cesaro said he’s the captain. Cass told Sheamus the last thing he should think about is being the captain. Cass mocked Sheamus leading to the “how you doing?” chants from the crowd. Sheamus laughed at Gallows for losing to Enzo last week. Cesaro mocked Gallows, then argued with Sheamus and led the crowd in a “shame” chant. Goldust told them to take it easy. Sheamus said to count him out of this and he doesn’t need them.
The Tag Team Champions The New Day made their entrance at the top of hour three. The trio entered in attire similar to the famous Braveheart movie by Mel Gibson. Loud “New Day Rocks” chant greeted them. Xavier Woods introduced us to Francesca’s Scottish cousin, the bagpipes. He said it’s hard to play the bagpipes. Kofi Kingston wondered what Sheamus was doing. Sheamus wondered what New Day was doing while pointing out Halloween was last week. Woods reminded him that New Day likes to have a good time and they are team captains. Woods said that he knows those teams will fight with them for the love and pride for Team Raw. Anderson said with captains like New Day they know they will lose. Big E tried talking in an accent, but it sounded like a pirate. Big E busted out more Braveheart lines about how Smackdown Live may take their lives, but they will never take their freedom.
Enzo didn’t know what they were smoking in those bagpipes, but he likes it. Goldust said that Big E has such a brave heart and said that Truth and him are with them. Cesaro said on behalf of him and Sheamus they are in. Sheamus argued with him as the crowd chanted “shame” again. Sheamus said he’s the captain, so on behalf of the team they are in. Sheamus told New Day to give the Braveheart thing a rest. That just left Gallows & Anderson with the crowd chanting “Scotland” again. Anderson said that those guys are not in charge of them – nobody is. The first opportunity they get, they will stab each and every single one of them in the back. Gallows said they will handle Smackdown Live because those teams are a joke like New Day. Woods wondered if they are jokes and they’ve beaten Gallows/Anderson multiple times while they are champs in the division, they wondered what that makes Gallows/Anderson. Kingston told us that Stephanie has granted them a match tonight against Gallows & Anderson. At Survivor Series, Big E said, they will show the world that “Team Raw Rocks.” The fans chanted that with them.
Analysis: That was a 15 minute talking segment and if you include the stuff before the commercial it was over 20 minutes. Too damn long. There were some good lines in there, but it’s not like it was riveting television either. The good thing is the crowd was into it, so I wasn’t bored by it. The match at SSeries should be fun, but there’s no reason for fans to care about who is in charge of the teams. We are 80 minutes into the show and there’s been only one match. Why even have the ring if you’re going to feature only promos the whole night? Sometimes I wonder.
The next match is non-title. As soon as I started writing about it, I put “Winners by pinfall: Gallows & Anderson” because that’s typical WWE booking.
Big E & Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
Big E and Kofi are wrestling in their Braveheart gear. The tag team title reign is at 442 days for New Day and the record is 478 days by Demolition. Kingston was on offense against Anderson. Big E did the abdominal stretch including butt slaps. The heels used a ref distraction leading to a kick to the head by Gallows and then a running kick from Anderson. Gallows with a corner splash on Anderson followed by a double neckbreaker for two. Dropkick by Anderson to the knee of Big E. Gallows got in there to work over E as the heels isolated him from his partner. Gallows missed an elbow drop, which led to Big E tagging in Kingston. Crowd chanting “New Day Rocks” as Kingston tagged in against Anderson. Kingston with a dropkick followed by a leaping clothesline and the boom drop connected. Kingston with a top rope cross body to take out Anderson, then he sent Gallows out of the ring and a back kick by Kingston knocked down Anderson. Gallows kicked Big E, who was the legal man. Kingston jumped off the top, Anderson avoided an attack, grabbed him and hit a Spinebuster. It looks like they were going for something else there. Gallows tagged in and they hit the Magic Killer double team move with Gallows pinning Big E to win after seven minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
Analysis: ** Once again the predictability of champions losing non-title strikes again. It does no good to have New Day lose non-title again. Gallows & Anderson are back on a winning streak since they recently beat Enzo & Cass. The match was also pretty short and made New Day look bad for losing a short match as well.
Goldust and R-Truth were shown walking backstage. Truth said that they could use a vacation. He traded their spot in Survivor Series for a timeshare at the Shining Star resort. They looked at the comedy
Another look at Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar.
The announcers talked about the season finale of Total Divas on Wednesday. Saxton said he had “goosebumps” about the season finale.
Analysis: So bad. Please teach your announcers to be better, WWE. That’s awful.
A video aired about Brock Lesnar vs. Bill Goldberg at Survivor Series. It featured comments from Lesnar with Lesnar saying at WrestleMania 20 he didn’t give two shits about wrestling and had unfinished athletic business to take care of elsewhere. It showed pics of Lesnar in UFC. Lesnar said if this man has a 10-year-old son and wife at home then it’s foolish for somebody to pick a fight with Lesnar. Lesnar said Goldberg can be what he wants, but there’s only one ass kicker and you’re looking at him (Lesnar). Heyman talked about how Lesnar conquered guys like The Rock, The Undertaker, John Cena and Randy Orton. Lesnar said that Goldberg’s been out of the squared circle for 12 years and it ain’t gonna happen. If you’d like to tune in to Survivor Series and watch Goldberg get his ass kicked, subscribe to the Network. Lesnar doesn’t care what Goldberg’s son think. His message to Goldberg’s wife and son is don’t watch. Lesnar told them to stay home and hopefully Goldberg returns…hopefully.
Analysis: Lesnar is great in that setting. He comes off as a cold, calculating asshole. It’s easy to hate him if you are into hating wrestling characters by what they say, but he also makes a lot of good points. A very good video package like usual from WWE.
Next week on Raw: Goldberg and Lesnar will have a face to face confrontation.
Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho talked outside of Braun Strowman’s locker room. They walked right into the room where Strowman was seated in a chair in the center of the room. Jericho almost put Strowman on the list, but Owens said that they welcome Strowman to their Survivor Series team. Owens said that Team Kevin, Chris and Braun sounds great. Jericho said Team Chris, Kevin and Braun sounds delightful. Strowman stood up, stared at both guys and said: “I’m on Team Braun.” Jericho put Strowman on the list.
Analysis: Strowman wants to be a loner. Easy to understand why. He should say that he’s tired of people using him (referring to Wyatt Family) and is in this for himself.
Images of Emma were shown for Emmalina premiering soon. If Raw was three hours of that it would get a 9 out of 10. Maybe a 9.5 out of 10. Sadly, it’s not.
Golden Truth (R-Truth & Goldust) vs. Shining Stars (Primo & Epico)
Primo with a dropkick on Truth as the heels took control. Double suplex by Shining Stars get two. Some fans chanted “boring” so Epico said “you guys are boring” at them. The heels kept tagging in and out. Double dropkick. The fans were doing some chant to try to entertain themselves because they didn’t care about this match. Jumping side kick by Truth on Epico. Goldust hot tag with punches, atomic drop and a bulldog. The crowd cared enough to chant for the ten punches in the corner. Goldust hit a spinebuster. Epico had a brochure to show Goldust leading to Goldust ripping it up and doing a punch. Truth clothesline sent Epico over the top to the floor. Primo did a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Goldust with his feet on the ropes. It went five minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Shining Stars
The win confirms that Shining Stars are on Team Raw. Yawn.
Analysis: * Boring match. These teams are barely featured on Raw, yet WWE wants us to care about them? It’s hard to care. I doubt Shining Stars last more than three minutes in the tag match at Survivor Series. Of course the worst finish in WWE – the dreaded ROLLUP OF DEATH~! – was used to end this match.
Fatal 5-Way match still to come on Raw. Women’s Survivor Series announcement up next.
Next Monday on Raw, Smackdown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon and General Manager Daniel Bryan will be there.
Survivor Series Women’s Team Announcement
Michael Cole was in the wrong spouting his usual crap I don’t pay attention to. He introduced the Raw Women’s Champion Charlotte. She was in her ring gear, so there’s probably a match coming.
Charlotte said she was born a leader. She said if Becky Lynch or Nikki Bella or any of the Smackdown peasants think they will steal her spotlight at Survivor Series, they can just keep drinking the blue kool-aid. Get better writers, WWE. Adult human beings do not talk trash like that.
Nia Jax entered. She’s not like most girls because she’s big. It’s in the song. You know you sing it when she appears. It’s okay to admit it. Cole talked to Jax, but then Charlotte spoke up. Jax told Charlotte that she may be the leader, but she doesn’t work for her.
Alicia Fox is up next for the team. I think she turned 17 times on her way to the ring. The announcers put over her nearly ten years of experience as an advantage even though she is barely on television. Cole brought up Fox’s problems with Jax. Fox said if Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt can be civil as divorced parents, then she can be civil with Jax. Then there was some line about being a survivor.
Analysis: Who wrote that promo? It was awful.
Bayley was next up. She hugged Cole. Bayley received a huge ovation. Fans sang the “Bayley, do you wanna be my girl” song that was based off a classic song. It’s something that greets Bayley whenever she goes to the UK and sometimes in the US as well. Bayley tried to get through her promo talking about Survivor Series. Charlotte covered her ears. Bayley said Survivor Series could be her against Alexa Bliss, Becky Lynch or her with Charlotte against Nikki Bell and Carmella. Bayley said if Team Raw is going to dominate at Survivor Series then they have to work together.
Cole was going to announce another member, but Charlotte interrupted. Fans sang the Bayley song again. Charlotte yelled: “All hail your queen.” The crowd didn’t stop as Charlotte said their accents are terrible. The singing continued as Charlotte tried to speak. They kept on chanting the song. Charlotte introduced a woman that made her a better champion, a better person and this woman is the fifth member of their team…Dana Brooke.
Analysis: The idea is that fans wanted it to be Sasha Banks, but Charlotte said it was Dana.
Cole talked about how we all know that Brooke isn’t the fifth member of the Survivor Series team because the fifth member is this woman…Sasha Banks. Big ovation for Banks.
Analysis: They could have used Mick Foley or Stephanie McMahon for this segment. I realize that Foley isn’t there, but they should have had Stephanie there. Having Cole out there doesn’t help the segment because a lot of fans hate him.
Charlotte said that after all the injuries Banks sustained at Hell in a Cell, she didn’t think Banks would make it to Survivor Series. Charlotte said she had Brooke there as an alternate. Banks said she had a tough time hearing her because of all the singing from the crowd and Banks said “will you be my girl” to Bayley when the crowd sang it. Charlotte ripped on Banks by mentioning Lindsay Lohan’s latest accent. I don’t get the reference. Charlotte said that Banks isn’t the boss anymore after Charlotte made history at Hell in a Cell. Jax got in Banks’ face.
Analysis: Another long talking segment on this show that has been full of them. There were some terrible lines of dialogue in there. Seriously WWE, you need better writers or give them less of a word for word script.
The match started after the break after Cole said that Stephanie made it during the break. Why not just say it was already booked? Everybody was in their ring gear, so it was obvious. Get better writers, WWE.
As soon as the match was booked my feeling was that either Fox would be pinned by Jax or Bayley would pin Charlotte. That’s just based off typical WWE booking and how predictable it is.
Bayley, Sasha Banks & Alicia Fox vs. Charlotte, Nia Jax & Dana Brooke
Bayley grabbed the leg of Jax to try to take her down, but that didn’t work as Jax tossed her down. Fox jumped on Jax’s back and was slammed down. Fox hit Charlotte with a Northern Lights suplex. Banks nailed Brooke with a dropkick, then a dropkick for Charlotte and Jax talked to her teammates, so the three faces did a triple dropkick to Jax’s back. No sell by Jax. Banks had some tape on her back to sell the injuries from Hell in a Cell. Banks was in there with Jax, but Jax ran her over with a body attack as the show went to break.
Back from break, the heels worked over Banks. Headbutt by Jax on Banks. Charlotte grounded Banks with a rest hold and Banks was able to break free. Bayley tagged in against Charlotte with a cross body block, elbow to the back and flying elbow. Bayley hit a move against the ropes, then the shoulder block in the corner and the back elbow. Crowd is into everything Bayley is doing. Bayley with a back elbow off the middle ropes. Brooke sent Bayley into turnbuckle. Fox sent Brooke out of the ring and it looked like that hurt Bayley a bit. Jax threw Fox into the turnbuckle and squashed her. Banks with double knees to Jax in the corner. Charlotte boot to the face of Jax. Charlotte forearm to the back of Banks and sent her out of the ring. Bayley hit the Bayley to Belly on Charlotte for the win after 12 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Bayley, Sasha Banks & Alicia Fox
Analysis: **1/2 It was a pretty good tag match that was given a decent amount of time. The crowd support for Bayley certainly helped make the match feel a bit more important. As I noted earlier, the finish was obvious if they wanted the faces to win. Once again it’s a champion getting beat. In this case, it’s Charlotte getting pinned by Bayley, who is pretty much the next contender to the Women’s Title whenever WWE wants to put them in a title match. I’m not sure who will win the women’s match at Survivor Series, but I think Bayley and/or Banks winning for the Raw team makes sense. It could be a way to book Nia Jax really strong too.
Seth Rollins was interviewed by Charly Caruso. He noted that not a lot of people on Raw like him, but that’s okay. Strowman walked up to Rollins. Strowman told him not to worry about his future opportunities because he may not have a future. Strowman said he’ll snap Rollins like a twig. Rollins laughed saying just another person that doesn’t like him – sounds like a party.
Analysis: They are portraying Rollins as a guy that made so many enemies as a heel that he has no allies now. That’s why when he does reunite with Reigns it will be a big deal.
Zayn vs. Rusev up next.
There was a photo of Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant wearing the WWE Title at their parade last week. Amazing World Series. Congrats Cubs.
Lana was in the ring saying thanks, but she doesn’t need the support of this pathetic village. She introduced to her husband, who is the only man that can have her.
Analysis: I like Lana. I follow her on Twitter, but I think she retweets compliments more than any wrestler.
Rusev shaved the beard. For shame. That was a better look for him.
Rusev (w/Lana) vs. Sami Zayn
The winner of this match gets to face Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Title at Survivor Series. If one of these guys beats Ziggler then they would bring the IC Title to Raw.
Zayn received a nice ovation from the crowd as well as “ole” chants. Rusev was aggressive early on with a slingshot into the middle rope. Zayn made a comeback with a dropkick that sent Rusev out of the ring and they went to break three minutes into it.
Back from break, Rusev was in control after a fallaway slam that happened during the break. Some fans were chanting “we want Lana” even though she was already at ringside. Zayn avoided a charge that sent Rusev out to the floor. Zayn hit a somersault dive over the top to take out Rusev. He makes that look easy. Rusev missed a corner splash. Zayn charged in, but Rusev nailed a standing side kick for a two count. Rusev went to the top rope, so Zayn ran towards him and hit the Helluva Kick for the pinfall win after 9 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Sami Zayn
Analysis: **1/2 I like the match result, but the finish could have been better. Rusev never goes to the top rope, yet he did in this match just so they could have that finishing sequence. I’m not a huge fan of guys doing uncharacteristic things to end the match. It looks dumb. I’m glad Zayn won since he has been booked terribly on Raw for the last four months.
It’s official for Survivor Series: Dolph Ziggler defends the Intercontinental Title against Sami Zayn.
Analysis: When Ziggler announced the open challenge on Smackdown last week, the first name I thought of was Zayn. He will be cheered heavily in Toronto as a Canadian (so will Ziggler) and it will be an amazing match, so I’m looking forward to it. Please give them 15-20 minutes to have a classic match. I think Ziggler will retain to keep the IC Title on Smackdown.
The Fatal 5-Way Match is next.
Next week on Raw: Lesnar and Goldberg face to face.
Analysis: Should they brawl or have just a promo segment? I think a brawl with everybody coming out to break it up is a good idea to end Raw with. If they did something where they just had a physical confrontation where one of them looked dominant I think that’s a mistake. Make it even going into the match.
Next week on Raw: Smackdown Commissioner Shane McMahon and General Manager Daniel Bryan.
The introductions took place for the main event. Seth Rollins was out first and then Braun Strowman. Chris Jericho was next followed by the Universal Champion Kevin Owens. The United States Champion Roman Reigns was last.
Fatal 5-Way: Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins vs. Braun Strowman
This is not for KO’s Universal Title. No disqualifications or countouts in a match like this.
Strowman stared at Reigns. Jericho told them to fight, so Strowman elbowed Jericho down. Rollins tossed Jericho into the barricade. Strowman staredown with Reigns led to Strowman hitting a clothesline. Rollins lifted the apron and attacked with a kendo stick as Graves asked where he got the kendo stick. The guy had the apron lifted, so I think we know where. Rollins grabbed a table from under the ring, he hit Rollins in the back and the show went to break.
Analysis: Imagine if the crowd did this song? “Heyyyyy Braunyyyyyy I wanna know oh oh oh oh if you wanna yell at me.” Just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Back from break, the table was set up outside the ring. Strowman clothesline on Rollins in the ring. Strowman with a face first Chokeslam on Reigns. Jericho attacked off the top and Strowman kicked him down. Owens punched Strowman, but then Strowman came back with a clothesline. Strowman was alone in the middle as the other four guys worked together to beat him down. Owens kicked Strowman, Jericho with an enziguri, Rollins with a springboard knee to the jaw and then Reigns hit a Superman Punch that sent Strowman out of the ring. Reigns with a Samoan Drop on Jericho and Rollins nailed the Slingblade on Owens. Rollins faced off with Reigns as the announcers talked about their history. Strowman got back to his feet, so Reigns hit him with another Superman Punch and Rollins hit a suicide dive that sent Strowman into the barricade.
Reigns and Rollins were outside the ring by table. Lots of staring. They teased the Shield Powerbomb through the table, but Jericho and Owens showed up to break it up. Reigns nailed a Superman Punch on Strowman after he jumped off the steps. Jericho and Owens tossed Reigns into the barricade at ringside. Owens ripped up a “I Love Reigns” sign that a fan had. The heels tossed Reigns into the steps. Owens nailed a cannonball attack on Reigns against the barricade. Rollins sent Owens face first into the barricade and gave Jericho a Powerbomb through a table that Strowman was laying on. No idea why Strowman was on the table. I assume Rollins put him there, but it was never shown. Back in the ring, Rollins with a knee to the face of Owens and then a kick to the face for two. Rollins avoided the Popup Powerbomb and hit a Pedigree, but Jericho pulled out the referee to break up the pinfall. Rollins hit a suicide dive on Jericho. Jericho avoided a flying knee from Rollins and went for the Walls, but couldn’t do it. Rollins hit a kick to the head of Jericho. Rollins with a Pedigree on Jericho. Owens with a kick to the head of Rollins. Reigns with a Superman Punch on Owens, which causes Owens to land on top of Jericho for the one, two…three. Owens pins Jericho accidentally to win the match after 15 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Kevin Owens
Post match, I thought Reigns rolling out of the ring after hitting a move he does all the time was a bit too much. Reigns was shocked by it. Owens acted surprised that he was able to pin Jericho.
Analysis: ***1/4 That was a good main event match. It’s tough to do a five way match, but they made it work as best they could. The finish was done well. I liked the way they hit signature moves and then it was a fluke ending. There’s also the story of Owens pinning his “best friend” Jericho, which should be followed up on last week with Jericho being mad about it while the others on the team should point it out to cause problems with them. Strowman was made to look really strong in the early part of the match. Everybody ganging up on him was a smart strategy. The table spot was a big thing to take him out, but I thought he should have got up from it because it makes him look weak that he was down for several minutes while Jericho factored into the finish. It’s no surprise that Jericho took the pin because the other four guys are in positions where WWE wants to keep them looking strong at all times.
Raw ended with a plug for Lesnar and Goldberg face to face. Owens held up the Universal Title as well as his buddy Jericho as the show came to a close.
Analysis: I think the Jericho/Owens split will happen after the December Roadblock PPV, which has a main event of Owens vs. Reigns apparently. Then they can have Jericho go face and he’ll challenge Reigns for the Universal Title at Royal Rumble while the other main Raw guys are in the Rumble match.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Kevin Owens
3. Sami Zayn
4.5 out of 10
Last week: 5
2016 Average: 5.72
2016 Average since brand split starting July 25: 5.78 (Smackdown is 6.27)
Last 5 Weeks: 5, 4.5, 5, 5, 7
2016 Low: 4 (Feb. 29/Mar. 21/Aug. 15)
I give it a 4.5 out of 10. It was a below average show again.
The first two hours sucked. The last hour was better because there were actual matches. There wasn’t a memorable match or key moment in the show that I’m going to remember that well.
I feel tired just writing about the show because of all the promo segments. Like I wrote in the review, I don’t think fans care about who team captains are as much as WWE thinks we care. Having people on the same team in matches together doesn’t really make me care more about Survivor Series either. I’m not sure how they can promote the matches when the Smackdown guys are not on the show, though. They are playing with the hand they were dealt with.
The repetitive booking bugged me a lot. You had three champions get pinned on this show: Kendrick, Charlotte and New Day. I’m surprised Owens won. It makes the champions look like losers and also forces fans to not give a shit when there’s a title change because we see these people lose so much anyway.
At least Sami Zayn won a meaningful match, which is pretty rare these days. That’s something I can be happy about.
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That’s all for now. See ya next time for the Smackdown review.
Thanks for reading. Go Los Angeles Rams. Go Toronto Raptors.
John Canton – firstname.lastname@example.org