Live from Buffalo, New York this is the Raw Deal for episode #1225. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.
A shot of the arena was shown as Michael Cole welcomed us to Monday Night Raw while the Raw roster that’s competing at Survivor Series was standing on the stage. Commissioner Stephanie McMahon was in the ring with GM Mick Foley.
Stephanie told the Raw performers on the stage that they are the best of the best. She plugged that Smackdown’s Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan are going to be there later. She told the wrestlers they will have a chance to prove their superiority. Foley did a pep talk to performers like Kevin Owens, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and the female performers. Stephanie brought up Enzo & Cass, so Foley did the Enzo dance as best he could. She brought up Brian Kendrick and Sami Zayn in their title matches at Survivor Series as well.
Stephanie said that they need the Raw talent to work together as a team or else Mick and her will make some changes. Foley brought up Cesaro and Sheamus. Foley put them in a match against Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns.
Stephanie made another match noting that last week Seth Rollins hit a Powerbomb on Chris Jericho on Braun Strowman through a table. She put the three of them together on a team against New Day.
Foley brought up Charlotte Flair. He put Charlotte on a team with Sasha Banks against Alicia Fox and Nia Jax.
It’s Reigns and Owens vs. Sheamus and Cesaro up next. Cole said it’s “an incredible slate of matches” on tap for tonight.
Later on Raw, Goldberg and Lesnar face to face.
Analysis: If you like tag team matches then this is the night for you apparently. There were no matches announced prior to the show, so they spent the first seven minutes of this show setting up several matches for later on. It was fine. The usual start of Raw, basically. At least it didn’t take 20 minutes.
The Universal Champion Kevin Owens made his entrance followed by the United States Champion Roman Reigns making his entrance.
Cesaro & Sheamus vs. Kevin Owens & Roman Reigns
Reigns started with Cesaro. When Reigns wanted to tag Owens in, Owens just walked away looking disinterested. Cesaro argued with Sheamus, so Roman punched his way out of the corner. Sheamus nailed a battering ram shoulder tackle on Reigns. Cesaro tagged in and Reigns avoided a swing attempt. Clothesline by Cesaro sent Reigns over the top to the floor. Owens bickered with him, so Cesaro hit a corkscrew dive over the top to take out both guys.
Back from break, Owens hit a Tornado DDT on Cesaro for a two count. Owens with a cannonball attack for two. Corkscrew elbow by Cesaro on Owens leading to the tag to Sheamus to no reaction. Shoulder tackle by Sheamus followed by a high knee to Owens. Sheamus hit ten forearm strikes to the chest of Owens, but Owens came back by tossing Sheamus out of the ring. Reigns got the tag and sent Sheamus into the steps. Leaping clothesline by Reigns outside the ring followed by a Drive By kick. Corner clotheslines by Reigns and an uppercut punch. Reigns hit a Superman Punch with Cesaro making the save. Owens kicked Cesaro and Reigns hit a Superman Punch on him. Owens tagged himself while Reigns set up for a Spear, so they bickered and Sheamus hit Owens with a Brogue Kick. Reigns hit a Spear on Sheamus. Owens was down, so Reigns put KO’s hand onto Sheamus chest for the win after 12 minutes of action.
Winners by pinfall: Kevin Owens & Roman Reigns
Post match, Owens and Reigns talked trash while they held their titles.
Analysis: **3/4 Good tag match with a creative ending. The guys in the men’s elimination match at Survivor Series are more important than the guys in the tag team match, so it makes sense for Reigns and Owens to go over. I thought the finish was well done with Reigns doing the work, but Owens taking the credit since he got the pinfall. It fit their characters well.
The trio of Braun Strowman, Seth Rollins and Chris Jericho were backstage. Jericho said that he’s the captain of tonight’s team. He reminded them that Stephanie wanted them to work together. Jericho handed them boxes as a token of his appreciation. Rollins opened it up to reveal a scarf. Jericho: “It’s the scarf of Jericho, try it on man.” Rollins said if he wanted to dress like Jericho he would raid Lady Gaga’s closet. Jericho gave back the scarf. Strowman said he wanted the white scarf that Jericho was wearing. Jericho noted it was $750 he just got it in Vienna. Jericho gave him the scarf. Jericho put on Braun’s scarf. Braun ripped up the expensive scarf. Braun: “I don’t like scarves and I don’t like you.”
Analysis: They don’t get along. Just another reminder of that. Jericho is such a silly character, but he makes it work. Rollins tries to fire back with jokes while Strowman is the serious guy, so it works well enough.
Another plug for Goldberg and Lesnar later.
The announce team of Michael Cole, Byron Saxton and Corey Graves plugged NXT Takeover Toronto and Survivor Series on WWE Network this weekend. I’ll be at both shows. Speaking of NXT Takeover Toronto, check out my preview of that event at The Comeback now.
There was a clip of a Raw Pre-Show segment with Sami Zayn and Bo Dallas to set up their match.
Bo Dallas vs. Sami Zayn
Dallas worked on Zayn with elbows followed by some knee strikes. Dallas tried to ground him with a headlock, but Zayn got back to his feet with a clothesline and an exploder suplex into the turnbuckle. Zayn hit a Helluva Kick to win the match after three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Sami Zayn
Analysis: *1/2 A quick match to put over Zayn heading into his Intercontinental Title match at Survivor Series. He’s a part of the PPV while Dallas isn’t, so it was obvious Zayn was going over. Dallas had a mild push. This didn’t help him.
Post match, Zayn was interviewed in ring by Byron Saxton. Ziggler said that at Survivor Series it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. Whether he has to beat Ziggler or Miz, he’s hell bent on bringing the IC Title to where it belongs on Raw.
Analysis: Quick promo from Zayn showing confidence. Ziggler vs. Miz takes place on Smackdown for the IC Title this week.
There’s a Survivor Series summit promo with Mick, Stephanie, Shane and Daniel up later.
Six man tag is up next.
PLUG TIME: We do a TJRWrestling Podcast every week that you can listen to right here on Podbean or use iTunes by searching “TJRWrestling” or “John Canton” to get it. On Monday morning we posted our exclusive interview with Mickie James. She talked about this Saturday’s WWE NXT Takeover Toronto show and plenty more, so check it out now!
The guys that are a part of WWE’s cruiserweight division were backstage talking. Brian Kendrick showed up and stood on a chair or box to talk to them. He spoke with confidence about how he’s the guy that is going to retain the Cruiserweight Title at Survivor Series. TJ Perkins complained about Kendrick, Rich Swann pointed out how he bit Kendrick twice and Noam Dar complained about how he beat up Kendrick after a match last week. Kendrick wondered if he lied to any of them. Sin Cara stepped up to say that at least his friend Kalisto would make a respectable champion unlike Kendrick. Kendrick got in his face saying that Sin Cara used to be Kalisto’s partner and now he’s a traitor. They argued, so the segment ended.
Analysis: Good segment to show that Kendrick isn’t liked by the other cruiserweights.
The New Day – the WWE Tag Team Champions, made their entrance. They had the Tag Titles on, captain hats and a cart of merchandise. Woods introduced us to their newest member, Francesca 2 Turbo, which is a trombone. Woods noted they were Tag Team Champions for almost 450 days. Kofi Kingston noted that they know how to survive. Big E said they had a survival kit or shopping cart. It led to them shilling merchandise including the Booty O’s cereal.
Analysis: I like them, but spending a few minutes to shill merchandise is basically just a time waster.
The trio of Chris Jericho, Braun Strowman and Seth Rollins made their entrances separately.
Big E, Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston vs. Chris Jericho, Braun Strowman & Seth Rollins
Jericho started with Kingston for a few minutes with neither man getting the advantage. Rollins faced off with Woods with Woods doing leg sweeps followed by a Slingblade by Rollins on Woods. Jericho went after Woods, who nailed an honor roll clothesline for a two count on Jericho. Running kick by Kingston on Jericho, Woods with an elbow drop and Big E tagged in with a running splash on Jericho for two. Double kick by Woods and Kingston on Jericho in the corner. Woods played the trombone, so Jericho booted Kingston down and he tagged in Strowman. Kingston tried to use his speed, but Strowman picked him up and slammed him face first as the show went to break.
Back from break, Kingston was still isolated from his team as Strowman applied a vice grip on the neck. Jawbreaker by Kingston, Rollins tagged in and hit a backbreaker to ground Kingston again. Rollins nailed a forearm in the corner, but Kingston came back with a double knee attack on Rollins. Strowman tagged in and kicked Big E off the apron. Strowman missed a shoulder tackle, so Woods tagged in one side against Jericho. Dropkick by Woods followed by a Tornado DDT for a two count as Strowman made the save. Big E clothesline sent Strowman out of the ring. Kingston jumped over the top, Strowman caught him and slammed him. Strowman running clothesline took down Big E on the floor. Crowd went wild for Strowman’s flurry of offense. Rollins with a high knee to Woods in the ring and he wanted Pedigree, but Jericho tagged in. Woods rollup, Jericho nailed an enziguri and tagged in Strowman. Running Powerslam by Strowman led to Woods getting pinned after 14 minutes of action.
Winners by pinfall: Chris Jericho, Braun Strowman & Seth Rollins
Jericho argued with Rollins saying “I’m the Captain now” like in that great Tom Hanks movie. Rollins dropped Jericho with a Pedigree. He left while Jericho was left to lick his wounds.
Analysis: ***1/4 That was an entertaining tag match. Just like Owens and Reigns won earlier, the other guys on Raw’s team in the most important elimination match were the victors. Strowman was booked like the dominant star of the match. The story is that nobody is going to be able to stop him. He’s the one that took out Kingston, Big E and Woods in this match, so clearly he’s being positioned in a strong way heading to Survivor Series. The New Day loss bugs me a bit since they are champions, but I fully expected it. At least a six man tag is different than a regular tag.
The announcers plugged more stuff to come.
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 1999. Check out the site every day for new reviews going up daily for the entire month. There were some great shows in the late 1990s and of course a very famous ending to 1997 as well. Thanks for the great feedback so far.
Stephanie and Mick were backstage talking about their stars working well together to win both tag matches. Paul Heyman showed up to congratulate her for showing that McMahon family spirit. Stephanie wondered how Paul was feeling after Goldberg speared him a few weeks ago. She mocked his weight by noting the padding, but he actually was wearing padding during the segment, so it’s a bit of a snide remark too. Heyman talked about Lesnar beating Goldberg at Survivor Series. Then he said the word around the locker room is the Smackdown team is looking pretty, pretty good. I love Curb Your Enthusiasm references. Heyman left. Mick Foley was on the phone saying they need extra security for Goldberg and Lesnar later.
Analysis: More talking on a show with a lot of talking. At least it set up the bit with Foley asking for security to be present for Goldberg and Lesnar’s confrontation.
Charlotte and Sasha Banks were backstage in the locker room. They bickered about things like usual. Banks noted she’ll get a championship rematch against Charlotte at some point. Charlotte said she’ll teach Banks how to win in their tag match. Banks told Charlotte that all the blame will be on Charlotte if they lose.
Analysis: More bickering from them like they have done for months. Their acting segments are not as good as their matches.
Brian Kendrick made his entrance.
Kendrick was in the ring. This Sunday at Survivor Series, Kendrick faces Kalisto and if Kalisto wins then the Cruiserweight Title as well as the entire cruiserweight division goes to Smackdown.
Brian Kendrick vs. Sin Cara
This is not for the Kendrick’s Cruiserweight Title. Kendrick pounded on Sin Cara for a few minutes with some kicks, punches and chokes. Basic stuff. Sin Cara avoided a DDT and hit a Northern Lights suplex for a two count. Kendrick was back on offense with a back elbow. Cara with a back body drop that sent Kendrick over the top to the floor. Cara with a suicide dive that took out Kendrick on the floor. Back in the ring, Cara hit a clothesline that sent Kendrick out of the ring. He went for a dive, but Kendrick avoided it and Cara went crashing to the floor.
Kendrick was still in control as he set up Cara upside down in the corner. Running shoulder tackle hit and then he missed another one. I think there were some “boring” chants as Cara hit a top rope splash for two. Kendrick with a bridging suplex for two. Backbreaker by Sin Cara. A sitout Powerbomb by Cara earned a two count. They did a spot where they hit eachother in the head at the same time – the dreaded double noggin knocker. Springboard back elbow by Cara to no reaction gets two. Kendrick twisted the mask of Sin Cara around to gain the advantage. Kendrick applied the Captain’s Hook submission for the win after 12 minutes.
Winner by submission: Brian Kendrick
Analysis: **1/4 It was okay. Most weeks I’m here complaining about not giving the cruiserweight matches enough time. This week they gave them too much time because the crowd doesn’t care about Sin Cara at all. There wasn’t much of a reaction to anything they did. Kendrick wins because he’s in a match at Survivor Series while Sin Cara is not. I’m surprised a champion won non-title since that’s so rare in WWE.
There’s an eight man tag match later featuring Raw tag teams.
Enzo & Cass were backstage while Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows showed up. Anderson noted they got wins over Enzo & Cass and New Day recently. Gallows said that they are good at being mean and making green. Cass said that if G&A stab anybody in the back then they will lose at Survivor Series. Cass basically told them they won’t trust them.
Analysis: So many backstage talking segments on this show.
Raw GM Mick Foley was shown backstage talking to the security guys that they need for the Goldberg/Lesnar segment.
Brock Lesnar and Bill Goldberg go Face To Face
The ring was full with security guys in a diagonal pattern so that they were in the middle of it, splitting the ring into two halves.
Brock Lesnar made his entrance. He slipped a bit when he jumped onto the apron, which drew a bit of a reaction. This Sunday it’s Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg at Survivor Series.
Goldberg made his entrance as they showed him walking backstage in the arena. Several WWE stars were standing around backstage watching him go by. He got the full pyro display for his entrance as he walked down to the ring. At least he’s not wearing a jacket this time. He’s wearing a Goldberg t-shirt while Lesnar has a Lesnar t-shirt. There were a lot of “Goldberg” chants.
The crowd chanted “Goldberg” for about one minute. Paul Heyman tried to talk and Goldberg cut him off saying this had nothing to do with Heyman, it’s about Brock and him. Heyman said he concurs with his assessment, which led to more Goldberg chants. When Heyman tried to talk, Goldberg told Heyman to shut up and clear the ring so the only real men in the ring can get it on. Heyman did his introduction, Goldberg told him to shut up again and Heyman said the guys in the ring are for Goldberg’s protection. Heyman noted that the fans can all chant his name…leading to more chants…which led to Heyman doing his intro again to more heat. Heyman reminded Goldberg that the men in uniform are there to save Goldberg’s ass. Heyman mentioned guys like Undertaker and Cena that Lesnar has conquered.
Goldberg noted that there’s a long list of people that Lesnar has conquered, but he (Goldberg) isn’t on it. He said to Brock: “I know that burns your little ass every time you think about it, doesn’t it?” He heard what Lesnar said about his family, so Lesnar can take that list of conquering people and shove it straight up your ass. Heyman suggested that Goldberg have respect for his family sitting at ringside seeing how Goldberg was acting. Goldberg told Heyman if he mentions his family again then Goldberg will rip off Heyman’s head and feed it to Lesnar. More loud “Goldberg” chants for that. Heyman apologized for raising his voice. Heyman mentioned “Fantasy Warfare” being advertised by WWE and noted that Lesnar is very, very real. Fans chanted “Goldberg” again and Heyman told them to shut up while noting that the fans are pissing off his beast. Heyman offered Goldberg the chance to back away to go back to the fantasy world and Heyman will find a suitable opponent for Lesnar. He suggested Goldberg getting his son to watch WWE Network to see Lesnar do his thing.
Goldberg took off his shirt to show he’s ready to fight. Heyman told Goldberg he’s going to be beaten, victimized and conquered. Lesnar shoved a security guy down. Heyman added that Goldberg will be so unrecognizable that Goldberg’s son will call Lesnar “daddy” after Survivor Series. Goldberg knocked down the security guys with punches and clotheslines. The security guys left the ring. Lesnar took off his shirts and stood on the apron looking like he was ready for a fight. Lesnar just backed away without a fight. The crowd booed. Goldberg’s music played while Lesnar walked up the ramp and Goldberg posed in the ring to end the segment.
Analysis: That was a very good segment with WWE likely being pleased about the crowd reactions. Goldberg was clearly the face in the scenario while Lesnar was the heel that avoided a fight. I liked the way that Heyman kept bringing up Goldberg’s family as a way to piss off Goldberg. It’s a cheap method, but it works. Last week I wrote about how WWE would likely book it so that they either had a wild brawl or no physical contact at all in order to give no man the advantage. If you want to see them fight, watch Survivor Series. That’s the way to properly sell the match. I thought Goldberg was awesome here with his intensity. He was never a great talker, but he has done a lot of movies and acting after he left wresting, so he’s clearly improved in that area. Lesnar didn’t say a word, which has become the usual for him when Heyman is around.
The “Survivor Series summit” segment is still to come.
Women’s tag match up next.
PLUG TIME: Check out Ron Pasceri’s latest episode of Mat Madness Unsanctioned, as Paul Carboni and Joe Lafferty argue the merits of Miz’s 2010-2011 run as World Champion, in addition to his WrestleMania headlining match. Also, the greatest metaphor ever: how is HHH wrestling’s Arnold Schwarzenegger? And why is he the greatest wrestler of all-time? The answers aren’t quite as obvious as you might guess. There’s also wrestling business analysis: The plight of the Cruiserweight division, the flawed NXT business model (thanks, Dave Meltzer, for the analogy) and…Roman Reigns at ROH’s Final Battle?? Search for Mat Madness on iTunes and YouTube for the best wrestling breakdown you’ll hear all week.
Bayley was on commentary for the women’s tag match.
Sasha Banks & Charlotte (w/Dana Brooke) vs. Alicia Fox & Nia Jax
Jax tagged in, so Charlotte wanted to tag out and that led to Banks dropping to the floor to avoid a tag. Shoulder tackle by Jax on Charlotte and then Banks tagged in against Jax. Running body attack by Jax took down Banks, so Banks rolled to the floor for the commercial break.
Analysis: They really do love those floor to commercial break spots in WWE, don’t they?
Banks nailed Fox with a dropkick. Charlotte tagged in and then she started shoving Banks, who shoved her back. Charlotte and Sasha each hit eachother with forearm smashes. That allowed Fox to tag Jax back in. Jax clothesline on Charlotte and Banks avoided a Samoan Drop. Charlotte kicked Jax. Fox tagged in, she hit a cross body block on the two other girls. Banks turned it into a Bank Statement submission for the win while Charlotte kicked Jax out of the ring. It went eight minutes.
Winners by submission: Sasha Banks and Charlotte
Analysis: *1/2 It was a decent match. The fighting by Banks and Charlotte was predictable. It was also very predictable that Fox was going to be the loser in the match because the other three girls are much more important. They don’t want to beat Jax, Charlotte is the champ, Banks is the top face and Fox is barely relevant. Easy way to end the match.
Survivor Series summit is still to come.
Foley was backstage with Jericho, Owens, Reigns, Rollins and Strowman. Jericho said Foley should thank he and Owens for being co-captains. Foley said they all worked together tonight to win their matches and they wanted them to do it at Survivor Series as well. Foley wanted them all to stick around for the fireworks in the main event.
Analysis: If you have watched WWE for any length of time then you know that what he said at the end was another way of saying there’s going to be a brawl at the end of the night.
There was another video about Emmalina premiering soon. Great. I hope it works better than all those Darren Young videos with Bob Backlund worked out for him.
Enzo & Cass made their entrance with their usual promo. Enzo talked about their eight man tag match coming up. Cass said they are with and against their Survivor Series teammates. Before Cass could do the “SAWFT” bit, Gallows & Anderson made their entrance.
Enzo Amore, Big Cass, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. Primo, Epico, Goldust & R-Truth
Three of the teams are a part of Survivor Series. Golden Truth are not. Cass did a Gorilla Press slam on Epico and a clothesline sent him out of the ring. Goldust and Truth tossed G&A out of the ring. Enzo and Cass had a stand-off with Goldust and Truth as the show went to break.
Truth was isolated in the corner of his opponents. Truth nailed a jumping side kick to knock down Anderson. Epico pulled Goldust’s hand away to prevent Goldust from tagging, so Primo got the tag. Cass nailed a fallaway slam on Primo. Boot to the face by Cass on Primo followed by the Empire Elbow. Goldust and Truth prevented Epico from saving. Cass with a corner splash followed by an Anderson spinebuster. Magic Killer and Gallows and Anderson. Gallows teased tagging in Enzo and then ended up taking the pinfall himself.
Winners by pinfall: Enzo Amore, Big Cass, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
Analysis: *1/2 The loser teams lost and the teams that sometimes win got the victory. Makes sense to me. I liked the fake tag at the end of the match too. Basic stuff here.
Up next is the Survivor Series Summit.
Survivor Series Summit
Raw Commish Stephanie McMahon and GM Mick Foley were in the ring. She said they had unfinished business.
Smackdown Commish Shane McMahon and GM Daniel Bryan made their entrance. Huge ovations for them as usual along with the “yes” chants. They walked into the ring to shake greet the Raw folks.
Shane asked Buffalo what’s up to get some cheers. Shane quickly promoted Smackdown Live 900 on Tuesday promoting The Undertake and Edge on the show. Then they moved on to Survivor Series.
Stephanie said at Survivor Series they will prove that Raw was the dominant brand. Shane said they drafted better than Raw and Smackdown Live is a better show than Raw. The fans cheered while Stephanie goes: “You guys are at Raw.” Loud “yes” chants. She said it made no sense since they are at Raw.
Analysis: Shane is right. Smackdown is clearly better and the fans know it.
Shane said that nothing has changed over here because Stephanie still threatens athletes by ripping up contracts. Shane said that’s not how they do things on Smackdown.
Stephanie pointed out that Shane is taking an opportunity away from another superstar, which is why he’s in the Survivor Series match. She said the people like Shane because he panders to them and he likes to leap off tall structures. She wondered how it will feel when the reason that Smackdown Live loses on Smackdown is because of Shane.
Bryan spoke about pandering the crowd and jumping off structures, that describes Foley. Stephanie said that Foley isn’t in the match. Bryan said we all love Mick for that. Bryan said that he put Shane on Smackdown because he is a real leader that brings people together unlike some people he knows (he looked at Stephanie). Bryan also thanked Foley putting the cruiserweight division up for grabs.
Foley said he believes in Brian Kendrick defending the Cruiserweight Title and he believes in Sami Zayn bringing back the IC Title back to Raw. Foley talked about how they put the women in a main event of Raw for the first time in 12 years and booked the first women’s Hell in a Cell match. Barely a reaction from the crowd.
Both sides went back and forth. Shane said that he knew Stephanie’s ego can’t handle it. Stephanie told Shane that he’s a glory hound. Shane claimed it was leadership by example and suggested that Stephanie should try it some time. Stephanie introduced Team Raw.
Team Raw walked out together led by Universal Champion Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, US Champion Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman. Stephanie said Team Raw will show them how “lazy and complacent” they are.
The fans were chanting for AJ Styles. Daniel Bryan: “You guys honestly think that we came alone?”
The Smackdown Live team of AJ Styles, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, Dean Ambrose and even James Ellsworth the mascot all entered from various sections in the crowd.
Raw guys were standing side by side on one side against Smackdown guys standing side by side. Owens welcomed the Smackdown guys to the Kevin Owens Show. Owens told Styles that title (the WWE Title) means absolutely nothing.
Styles wondered what Owens was talking about. Styles said that he’s the champ that runs the camp and the face that runs the place. Owens mocked him for stealing somebody else’s catchphrase.
Owens said that his title makes him better than Styles because he’s the one that is holding it and he’ll prove it at Survivor Series. Styles told Owens that the only you’ve proved is that you’re still stuck on Chris Jericho’s sugartit. He said “sugartit” and everybody let out an “ohhh” for it. Styles noted that he got along with Jericho, but he was stabbed in the back and he said Owens will be stabbed in the back. Owens said that he’s not worried because he’s a better champion, better person and better friend. Jericho said that Kevin is the best friend ever as they hugged.
Jericho called Styles a stupid idiot, which drew cheers. Jericho said on Raw, in the big leagues, do you know what happens when you insult Jericho and Owens? “AJ Styles…you just made the list!” The crowd cheered. Jericho said he didn’t like the stupid soccer mom hair of Styles, so “stupid soccer mom hair…you just made the list!” Crowd cheered that too.
Jericho pointed at Ellsworth: “What the hell is that?” Ellsworth was on the apron. He shrugged his shoulders while the fans chanted “Ellsworth.” Jericho said we had a lost child at ringside. Jericho said that Ellsworth is a pretty weird looking guy. He called him “Chince McMahon.” He put weird looking guy Ellsworth on The List.
Analysis: The List is more over than any wrestler in that ring except maybe AJ Styles. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
Bray Wyatt grabbed the microphone and faced off with Braun Strowman. He said he gave Braun the keys to the kingdom and this is how you repay me? Bray said that this Sunday “we” destroy the monster that I created. Strowman stepped up, so Orton stepped in front of Wyatt and stared at Strowman.
Analysis: How did Braun turn his back on Bray? He was drafted to Raw while Bray was drafted to Smackdown. Now he’s on Team Raw because he won a match.
Rollins said that Shane seems like a tough guy, but you saw what Strowman was capable of earlier in the night. He said you have no idea what Seth and Roman are capable of when they are on the same page. Ambrose grabbed the microphone and punched Jericho with it.
The brawl began as the five guys paired off. Strowman was stomping away on Shane. Strowman dropped Ambrose with a spinebuster. Corner splash by Strowman on Shane. Ambrose and Styles worked together on Strowman with forearm shots followed by Shane hitting a clothesline to send both he and Strowman over the top. Ambrose clothesline on Rollins followed by a suicide dive. Jericho with a springboard dropkick on Styles. Orton snuck up behind Jericho and hit a RKO to drop him. Reigns with a Superman Punch on Orton. Wyatt went for Sister Abigail, but Reigns got out of it and nailed a Superman Punch. Styles knocked down Reigns with an elbow. Rollins saved Reigns and hit a Pedigree on Styles.
Analysis: I would love a Styles vs. Rollins feud one day. That would be amazing.
Rollins picked up Styles and Reigns launched Styles over the top to the floor and sent him onto the other Smackdown team members. It was like a Shield double Powerbomb except it was more of a toss outside the ring with others there to break his landing.
The Smackdown team backed up the ramp together while the Raw team was alone in the ring celebrating their “victory” to end the night.
Analysis: It was a pretty good closing segment. Jericho and Styles were the best talkers in that segment. I am not surprised that Roman Reigns was kept from talking. He might end up as a survivor in the match, but WWE knows that talking is his weakness.
The brawl was well done. It’s a smart way to end the show because it was the Raw team standing tall. We saw some signature moves and finishing moves done as a way to pop the crowd and get them excited.
The problem with this whole thing is I don’t think fans care about Raw vs. Smackdown as much as WWE thinks we care. There’s nothing on the line. If people lose, so what? It’s not as interesting as having title matches where there is a prize on the line. It’s also been only four months since the brand split, so I don’t think fans are clamoring for Raw vs. Smackdown matches at the moment. I’m fine with the card, though.
I’m not sure what my prediction is at this point. I’m leaning towards Team Raw winning, but I’m not sure. I’ll have a firmer prediction ready by Friday’s Survivor Series preview column.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Chris Jericho
3. Braun Strowman – It might be the first time I have put him here. He impressed me.
6 out of 10
Last week: 4.5
2016 Average: 5.72
2016 Average since brand split starting July 25: 5.79 (Smackdown is 6.3)
Last 5 Weeks: 4.5, 5, 4.5, 5, 5
2016 Low: 4 (Feb. 29/Mar. 21/Aug. 15)
I give it a 6 out of 10.
The show was better this week than the other weeks and it’s just above my yearly average. That’s my highest score in the last six weeks, so at least they went into Survivor Series on a positive note.
The Goldberg/Lesnar segment was well done. I realize that some people will bitch about it because there was no brawling or anything physical with eachother. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, though. Make people pay to see it at Survivor Series.
I thought the matches were okay. It was tag match heavy because they want to push the idea of teams working together, so I understand doing several of those matches. There wasn’t a standout match, but nothing was too bad either.
Here’s the Survivor Series lineup:
Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg
Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown Live in a 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Men’s Elimination Match
Team Raw – Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman
Team Smackdown – AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton and Shane McMahon
Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown Live in a 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Women’s Elimination Match
Team Raw – Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Nia Jax and Alicia Fox with Dana Brooke in their corner
Team Smackdown – Nikki Bella, Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss, Carmella & Naomi with Natalya in their corner
Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown Live in a 10-on-10 Traditional Survivor Series Tag Team Elimination Match
Team Raw – The New Day, Enzo Amore & Big Cass, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson, Cesaro & Sheamus and The Shining Stars
Team Smackdown – Heath Slater & Rhyno, The Hype Bros, American Alpha, The Usos and Breezeango
Intercontinental Championship: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Sami Zayn (If Zayn wins then IC Title goes to Raw with him)
Cruiserweight Championship: Brian Kendrick (c) vs. Kalisto (If Kalisto wins then the Cruiserweight Division goes to Smackdown)
Our Survivor Series preview will be up by Friday.
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