Welcome to the Raw Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s show in Louisville, KY.
As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth report here.
We open the show with Kevin Owens and Big E backstage with Owens telling Big E he cares about his opinion and Big E said he didn’t care.
In the ring, we are ready for promo time with Seth Rollins. Rollins talked about how he was going to lead Team Raw to victory before turning his attention to his opponent tonight, Kevin Owens. Rollins runs down his history with Owens before questioning Owens’ motives. That brought Owens out to chase Rollins off. It was a decent promo and laid out the history between these two outside of WWE. It did its job of setting up the main event for tonight.
We kick off in-ring action with an eight man tag team action with RK-Bro teaming with The Street Profits to take on AJ Styles, Omos, Dolph Zigger, and Robert Roode. This was a pretty good opening match. It followed the standard WWE tag team match formula, but they were given sufficient time to make it all work out. The ending came when Riddle wanted to help the Street Profits with Omos but got wiped out instead by Omos. Ziggler tagged himself in to pick up the win for his team as the others fought over Ziggler’s tag. Can we please have a proper RK-Bro/Street Profits match and feud?
Adam Pearce was back and had the Mysterios in the ring with him. He decided to remove Dominik from the tag match unless he can beat this former champion, Bobby Lashley. Well, we know how that match went. Lashley dominated the younger Mysterio to take his place on the Survivor Series team.
WWE Champion Big E takes on Alpha Academy’s Chad Gable next. The match was short, but it was really good. Gable was allowed to show off some of his stuff and he looked fantastic. Big E picked up the win, but he put Gable over in defeat. That’s how it should be done. After the match, Otis and Big E had a staredown and likely square off next week.
The Raw Women’s Division were backstage complaining to Pearce and Sonya Deville on the Survivor Series team selection and the participants in the Fatal Five Way Contenders Match. Logic got accidentally inserted into the argument but Pearce said the decisions were final. I found Doudrop and Dana Brooke having valid points. Maybe it’s the start of something?
The 24/7 Title is defended next (Yay?) with Reggie taking on Drake Maverick. Even with the 24/7 rules suspended, this fell into the normal 24/7 car crash with six (yes, 6) title changes. Maverick busted out the inescapable ROLLUP OF DEATH~! to finally end Reggie’s title run. The dreaded move was then used by (in order) Akira Tozawa, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, and Maverick (again) before Reggie used an actual wrestling move to regain the title and take off running. We could have done without that, but it was nice to see Saxton pin Graves for all other flack he gets.
Becky Lynch is out to join commentary to observe the Fatal Five Way between Liv Morgan, Rhea Ripley, Carmella, Queen Zelina, and Bianca Belair. The ladies started fighting before the bell rang and order had to be restored first. Once the bell finally rang, the ring was quickly cleared. Shockingly, this match was given more than three minutes. The match was pretty good (for the talent in the ring) and action-packed. Lynch kept going on and on about Morgan so you knew that she was going to win the match. Morgan does eventually pick up the win, after Doudrop turned heel on Belair, and earned a title opportunity against Lynch in the future. After the match, Lynch stood on the announce table to hold the title up, so Morgan got up on the table to get in her face before Lynch left. I don’t think that Morgan will be successful in this attempt, but 2022 should be her year.
Main event time with Seth Rollins taking on Kevin Owens with Big E on commentary. We needed to stall for some time, so Austin Theory was sent out to take selfies with everyone at ringside. Big E batted him away so Rollins could come out. Owens followed and the fight was on. We get a solid match as you would expect from these two. Unfortunately, it had to end on a countout to fit the current story with Big E. Rollins and Owens were fighting near Big E and Rollins beat the count back in. Owens bumped into Big E and could not beat the count because of that. After the match, Owens turned heel as slowly seen throughout the night and laid out Big E to close the show.
Let’s look at tonight’s highs and lows.
We had some pretty solid in-ring action this week, with three matches going over 15 minutes. The main event was pretty good but hurt by the finish needed to advance the storyline.
WWE finally remembered that Survivor Series is in two weeks and started promoting it this week. Several post-Survivor Series feuds were put into motion as well. Things are starting to look up for the red brand.
Did we really need a 24/7 title car wreck tonight?
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That’s all I’ve got, until next time.