Reviews

The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 10/11/21 Review

Welcome to the WWE Raw Deal review. The WWE Draft is in the past, but the new rosters don’t start until October 22 so they are ignoring the roster split for a few weeks.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1480 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the Chase Center in San Francisco, California. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage, insightful columns from our team along with reviews about wrestling’s past (including my reviews of every WWE PPV ever listed in order) and present. Let’s roll.

Drew McIntyre and Big E Go Face to Face

The show started with Drew McIntyre entering in street clothes. McIntyre welcomed us to Raw, then he told us about the Crown Jewel card while mentioning some of the big matches and said that he was going to be WWE Champion again because it might be his last shot since he’s been drafted to Smackdown. Drew wanted to say more, but he was interrupted.

Big E showed up for the interruption with the WWE Championship around his waist. Big E said that he tasted the spoils of being WWE Champion and they are so sweet while talking about nectars and mentioning his nipples for some reason. Big E spoke about how Drew was a specimen that was incredibly accomplished, but Drew will never take the WWE Title from Big E. Big E said that the train has already left the station, so Drew has two options to jump onboard or his big, sword-yielding ass can stay on those railroad tracks and get run smooth over.

Drew replied saying that Big E talks about how the fan reaction was when he won the WWE Title and the reaction from the fans out there tonight. The fans chanted “Big E” for the WWE Champion. Drew spoke about how he was a two-time WWE Champion that held the title for 300 days, but he doesn’t know what it feels like to get a fan reaction. Drew loved every minute of being WWE Champion in a difficult time, but he is still chasing for that moment. Drew said just like he beat Lesnar, Orton and Goldberg, he’s going to beat Big E for the WWE Championship and there’s not a damn thing Big E can do about it.

The Usos made their entrance as the Smackdown Tag Team Champions. Jimmy and Jey talked about Big E vs. McIntyre with Jey saying he picked Big E and Jimmy said Drew might win with that Claymore Kick. Drew asked why they were there. Jey said that they can do whatever they want even though they got picked to Smackdown because they roll with the Head of the Table. Jey said that The Bloodline is now in your city. Jimmy said that they are sending out warning shots. Jey said that everybody knows Roman Reigns will beat Brock Lesnar at Crown Jewel for the Universal Championship. Jey said they are trying to find out who is going to be WWE Champion – Big E or Drew McIntyre. Jey warned Drew to be careful to get in the crosshairs of the Tribal Chief (Roman Reigns) on Friday nights and Roman might add the WWE Championship to the trophy case. Jimmy said that they’ve got plans for Woods and Kofi on Smackdown. Jimmy said Big E, if he beats Drew at Crown Jewel, then Big E could get to face Roman Reigns at Survivor Series, so he’s got the same death wish that New Day are facing. The Usos said they’re “The Ones” and tried to leave.

Big E stopped them from leaving. Big E said he wanted to speak on behalf of Drew, but Drew didn’t like that and The Usos challenged the two guys in the ring to a tag team match tonight. Big E and Drew each said that they accept. Drew and Big E argued a bit, so The Usos hit them each with superkicks. The Usos left while Big E and Drew were down in the ring.

Analysis: It was fine for an opening segment to show that Drew and Big E are competitive with eachother even though they are both faces. They are not in there hating the other guy or anything like that. I liked Drew’s point about not getting the chance to be WWE Champion in front of the crowd since his two reigns were during the PC and Thunderdome era. The Usos on Raw is a nice surprise that should lead to a very good tag team match. Fine with me.

Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston were interviewed by Kevin Patrick, who spoke about the possibility of Woods and Kingston facing eachother next week in the King of the Ring tournament. New Day just laughed at him and then off they went because the music hit.

Xavier Woods entered with Kofi Kingston with Woods staring at the king’s crown with Woods telling the crown “you’re coming with me.” Woods has wanted to be King of the Ring for a long time. Woods facing Ricochet up next.

(Commercial)

The tag team match was made official: Drew McIntyre & Big E vs. The Usos. The Raw announcers were Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton as usual.

Ricochet made his entrance. There was a pre-tape promo calling himself King Ricochet. Happy birthday to Ricochet turning 33 years old today (Monday).

King of the Ring – First Round: Xavier Woods vs. Ricochet

Woods and Ricochet touched knuckles to start the match as a sign of respect. Woods with a shoulder tackle leading to an armbar. Ricochet did a backflip landing on his feet, Woods with an elbow and Ricochet hit a dropkick. They exchanged chops, Ricochet went for a move off the apron, but Woods tripped him up so Ricochet went throat first into the top rope. Woods beat on Ricochet with forearms to the back, Woods was on the top rope and Ricochet gave him a huge superplex off the top rope. That was an impressive superplex where they got a lot of height before the hard landing.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Ricochet hitting a running forearm for two. They replayed that great superplex from the top rope. Ricochet with a hard kick to the back. Ricochet with a dropkick on a seated Woods for a two count. Woods countered a suplex leading to a suplex that sent Ricochet ribs first across the top rope. Woods with a leg drop from the middle rope for a two count. Woods lifted up Ricochet for a suplex leading to Woods hitting the double knees to the ribs. Ricochet with a kick to the head. Ricochet grabbed Woods in a cradle, then a cartwheel senton and a kick to the chest, but Woods rolled out of the ring. With Woods on the floor, Ricochet did a somersault dive over to turnbuckle onto Woods on the floor. Ricochet with a suicide dive sending Woods into the barricade. Ricochet went for another suicide dive, but Woods avoided it and hit a forearm. Ricochet went crashing to the floor. Woods went up top, walked the ropes, and hit an elbow drop off the top for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Xavier Woods

Analysis: ***1/4 This was a very good and athletic match between two of my favorites on Raw. Ricochet lost the match because he went for the suicide dive right after hitting two other dives, but Woods was ready for that one and then Woods hit his elbow drop to finish him off. A smart way to book the match. With that said, I’d like to see Ricochet used better although I’m also very happy for Woods getting the win too because Woods deserves a singles push. This is an example of why you can’t always push everybody. Somebody has to lose sometimes.

Xavier Woods moves on to the King of the Ring semifinals to face Kofi Kingston or Jinder Mahal. That match is later. Woods celebrated by the King of the Ring crown that was on the stage.

Randy Orton was shown in the dressing room with Riddle walking up to him. Riddle said somebody challenged Omos to a match. Riddle gave clues that were obvious, so Orton asked what did he do? Riddle said that he looks up to Orton as a wise uncle. Riddle wondered how they were going to outsmart AJ and Omos. Orton said that last week was a one time thing and Riddle shouldn’t have challenged Omos. Orton told Riddle he was on his own. Riddle didn’t believe there was no plan and mentioned matching snakeskin speedos. Riddle said he shouldn’t have said that and left.

Mansoor and Mustafa Ali entered for tag team action with Mansoor wanting to greet fans, but Ali told him to focus.

(Commercial)

The announcers plugged The Miz on Dancing with the Stars and wanted us to vote for him. They also showed the new Raw roster.

Mustafa Ali & Mansoor vs. Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander

Ali avoided a move from Alexander, Mansoor tagged in with a clothesline and Mansoor hit a spin kick to the head. Mansoor with a corner clothesline on Alexander and Ali with a double foot stomp on Alexander. Mansoor with a dive on Benjamin on the floor. Ali up top with a 450 Splash attempt, but Alexander moved and hit a Michinoku Driver for the pinfall win in under two minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander

Analysis: * Fast paced and rushed. That’s what this was. I like everybody involved, but they didn’t have time to show what they can do and it ended abruptly.

After the match, Mansoor checked on Ali and Ali shoved Mansoor on his ass. Ali said he was sick of this. Ali left.

Analysis: Mansoor is from Saudi Arabia, so I assume WWE will find a way to get him a win on the Crown Jewel show on October 21.

Shayna Baszler entered for a Queen’s Crown tournament match against Dana Brooke.

(Commercial)

Queen’s Crown Tournament – First Round: Shayna Baszler vs. Dana Brooke

Brooke was in the ring to start the match. Brooke got some offense with punches. Brooke went for a cartwheel back elbow, Baszler caught her in a submission and Brooke countered into a pin attempt. Brooke with another pin attempt. Baszler went for an ankle lock. Brooke went for a rollup and Baszler hit knee strike to the head for the pin in 1 minutes, 20 seconds. I decided to time it.

Winner by pinfall: Shayna Baszler

Analysis: 3/4* A short match just like the two Smackdown Queen’s Crown matches were. I don’t know why they need to be as short on Raw when it’s a three hour show, so that’s disappointing to see the match was so short. I’m not clamoring for 15 minutes, but if you are giving the guys ten minutes then try to give the girls something close to that when they are in the tournament. Anyway, Baszler has been booked strong while Brooke never really gets pushed. Graves didn’t trash Brooke on commentary this week.

Post match, Baszler tried to get a hold of Brooke, but Brooke broke free.

Charlotte Flair was backstage with the Raw Women’s Championship. Flair didn’t care about Shayna Baszler. Flair said she didn’t care about Lynch, Belair or Banks while claiming they are all underneath her. Flair said that she is royalty. Flair said that Belair doesn’t have the killer instinct while Lynch likes riding the momentum of other people’s momentum. Flair mentioned beating Sasha Banks many times. Flair said that she hopes Banks wins at Crown Jewel so that she can bring the Smackdown Women’s Title to Smackdown and Flair can beat Banks for it so Flair is the double champion.

Analysis: Right now Flair isn’t wrestling at Crown Jewel. That could change. I think it will be interesting to see how they go about the title situation with the women since champions Flair and Lynch have switched shows.

Still to come: Bianca Belair & Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch.

Riddle made his entrance on a scooter for singles action against Omos. Riddle greeted some fans at ringside and kicked off the flip flops in the ring leading to the bird graphic. There were some “Bro” chants too.

(Commercial)

Omos made his entrance with AJ Styles joining him.

Riddle did a pre-match promo said before they get started, he did a lot of thinking. Riddle mentioned Brogurt, then Omos heard of Brotein and he’s way more “swole” than the Skipper (that’s AJ Styles). Riddle was looking around and shouted: “Randy now!” No sign of Randy. Riddle sang part of Randy’s song. Styles did a promo saying Riddle was just stalling and everybody in San Francisco even sees it even though they’re not the smartest people in the world. Styles told the referee to ring the bell. Riddle started a “Randy” chant.

Riddle vs. Omos (w/AJ Styles)

Omos charged, Riddle left the ring and kicked Styles. Omos grabbed Riddle and tossed him into the ring. Omos with a corner splash on Riddle. Omos gave Riddle a Chokeslam and he was about to cover, but Styles said that they aren’t done with him yet. Styles mentioned Omos taking a karate class as a kid. Omos delivered a kick to the head. They showed a replay and then a slow-motion replay. Riddle got his hands up to block the kick. Styles called for the “CB” so that was the Choke Bomb by Omos, who pinned Riddle for the win after five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Omos

Analysis: 1/2* A dominant win for Omos once again with Styles playing games to allow for Omos to get in even more offense.

After the match, Styles teased a Styles Clash on Riddle, but then Randy Orton’s music hit. Styles thought that Orton was going to attack from behind. No sign of Orton. Styles made Omos leave the ring to prevent an attack from behind, still no Orton and then Orton found another way to get behind Styles. Orton hit an RKO on Styles again. The fans popped huge for that. Orton left with Riddle before Omos got back into the ring. Riddle was happy about it.

Analysis: It was yet another RKO for Orton on Styles just like we have seen many times over the last month. This feud keeps on going.

A replay was shown of Drew McIntyre, Big E and The Usos from earlier.

Drew walked up to Big E backstage to talk about what happened earlier. Big E said at Crown Jewel they’re opponents, but tonight they are partners. Big E spoke about how The Usos are seven-time tag team champions for a reason. Big E suggested to let bygones be bygones. Drew McIntyre said that maybe The Head of the Table is scared of them, so maybe he should be. They agreed to team up and did a power handshake greeting. They laughed about it.

The “All Mighty” Bobby Lashley made his entrance alone wearing a suit. Lashley’s buddy MVP has been out for a few weeks after knee surgery, but he should be back soon. Lashley is up next.

This Friday it’s Smackdown on FS1 with semifinals of Queen’s Crown and King of the Ring, plus Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks and Brock Lesnar confronts Roman Reigns. It’s a “supersized” Smackdown with a runtime of 2 hours, 30 minutes this week.

(Commercial)

A video package aired about the Bobby Lashley/Goldberg story that led to the two men setting up their match at Crown Jewel on October 21. It’s a No Holds Barred Match.

Let’s Hear from Bobby Lashley

Bobby Lashley was in the ring for a promo. Lashley mentioned Goldberg stood in the ring last week saying he wanted to end Lashley’s life. Lashley repeated what Goldberg said by saying he had a “license to kill” and that he was “dead.” Lashley said that this behavior is not befitting of a superstar, Hall of Famer and father. Lashley put himself over about being a WWE Champion for most of this year while Goldberg was out there screaming about murder. The fans chanted “Goldberg” so Lashley said that was classy. Lashley said he couldn’t just go into a regular match with a man that was acting crazy like a rabid animal. Lashley said that Goldberg was reduced to a rabid dog and that dog needs to be put down. Lashley said that at Crown Jewel with no rules and No Holds Barred, he will end Goldberg’s career. Lashley said Goldberg won’t be back again. The fans were booing Lashley and chanting “Goldberg” at him. Lashley said that Goldberg can’t beat the All Mighty, you can’t hurt him and you damn sure can’t kill the All Mighty. Lashley’s music played to end it.

Analysis: A good promo from Lashley showing confidence going into his Crown Jewel match.

Sasha Banks did a promo backstage into a camera. Banks said if Bianca Belair follows her lead then they can win that tag team match. Banks laughed about how the other women don’t compare. Banks said that she’s going to beat Charlotte Flair, then at Crown Jewel she’ll beat Bianca and Becky Lynch to become the Smackdown Women’s Champion.

Jeff Hardy made his entrance for a singles match.

(Commercial)

They replayed last week when Austin Theory attacked Jeff Hardy and then took a selfie while Jeff was knocked out in the ring.

Austin Theory vs. Jeff Hardy

Jeff ducked a charging Theory, then he whipped Theory into the turnbuckle and a double axhandle from Hardy. Jeff went for the Twist of Fate, Theory slipped out and Theory did an impressive roll through into a dropkick for two. Theory with an armbar. Reggie the 24/7 Champion ran into the ring while being chased by the 24/7 Title chasers. R-Truth got into the ring with Theory, then Truth avoided him and ran away. Jeff with an atomic drop and a double leg drop. Jeff hit the Twist of Fate. Jeff went up top, he wanted a Swanton Bomb, but Theory moved out of the way. Theory with a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! while pulling on Jeff’s pants for leverage and that was enough to win. It went two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Austin Theory

Analysis: *1/2 A cheap win in a short match to put over Theory as a cheating heel while Jeff continues to lose far too often. It makes sense to put over the younger guy. I just think Jeff could be utilized a lot better.

There were highlights shown from the Smackdown Women’s Championship segment from Smackdown. This video package was longer than each of the two matches on Smackdown last week. At least it felt that way.

Bianca Belair did a promo into the camera. Belair talked about her strength, character and heart. Belair mentioned Charlotte Flair likes to cheat. Belair talked about wanting to become Smackdown Women’s Champion again. Belair spoke about how she beat Sasha Banks in the main event of WrestleMania. Belair said she will never forget what Becky Lynch did to her at SummerSlam. Belair said that this is Raw and she goes here.

Jinder Mahal entered with Veer and Shanky.

(Commercial)

Kofi Kingston was interviewed before his match about who would win if he faced Xavier Woods, so Kofi kept saying “who” repeatedly without answer. Kofi entered for his match.

King of the Ring – First Round: Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) vs. Jinder Mahal (w/Veer & Shanky)

Mahal with a side headlock, Kofi broke free and Mahal hit a shoulder tackle. Kofi was whipped into the turnbuckle, he jumped to the middle rope and hit a dropkick. Kofi with a hurricanrana that sent Mahal to the floor. Kofi with a knee while Mahal was on the floor. Kofi jumped off with a back first dive onto Mahal on the floor.

(Commercial)

Mahal continued on offense with an abdominal stretch, but then Kofi managed to hit the SOS trip. Kofi with a dropkick, Mahal with a kick to the gut and Kofi hit a cross body block from the middle rope. Mahal got a hold of Kofi, he put him on the shoulders and Mahal dropped Kofi into a double knee attack to the ribs. Kingston fought Mahal off from the turnbuckle and Kofi hit a Frog Splash off the ropes onto Mahal’s back. Kingston hit the Boom Drop legdrop. Shanky tried to interfere, Woods knocked him down with a punch and Veer hit Woods with a clothesline. Mahal with a crucifix pin for two. Kofi with two boots to the face, Kofi up top, he jumped off with nothing because Jinder was back up and Jinder hit The Khallas for the pinfall win at around nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Jinder Mahal

The win by Jinder Mahal means he moves on to the semifinals of King of the Ring to face Xavier Woods.

Analysis: ** Just an average match. The distraction on the floor helped Mahal a bit, but it was mostly a clean win. It wouldn’t shock me if Jinder won the tournament. I prefer Woods gets the win.

Becky Lynch did a promo with the Smackdown Women’s Title on her shoulder. Lynch said that she’s always five steps ahead. Lynch talked about how winning is what she does, then said that she is a winner more than Belair and Sasha cries and runs home every time she loses. Lynch said she’s going to remain the Smackdown Women’s Champion.

Sasha Banks made her entrance for her tag team match.

(Commercial)

There were photos shown of John Cena on NBC’s Saturday Night Live this past Saturday.

Bianca Belair entered as Sasha Banks’s partner. Belair and Banks argued in the ring.

Charlotte Flair was up next as the Raw Women’s Champion that was drafted to Smackdown. This entrance was longer than the women’s match earlier in the show. Becky Lynch was up next as Smackdown Women’s Champion. Lynch posed in the ring with her title while the other women were bickering with eachoter.

The match didn’t start due to Banks and Belair bickering with eachother. That led to Flair getting bumped to the floor when Lynch hit her by accident. Flair and Banks got into a brawl on one side of the ring while other referees went down to the ring. Lynch hit an Exploder Suplex on Belair, who rolled out to the floor. Flair kicked Lynch to knock her out of the ring. Banks punched Flair and then Lynch got into a fight with Flair on the floor. Belair hit Banks with a punch on the top rope and Belair launched Banks onto the two other women on the floor. There were WWE Officials like Shawn Daivari and Jamie Noble showing up to break it up.

The WWE Officials Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville said it’s not going to end like that. They told the women to get back into the ring to start the match. Flair and Lynch tackled eachother on the floor while Belair and Banks fought into the ring. The show went to break.

Analysis: The creative team has time to book this brawling segment for like five minutes or whatever it was, but they can’t give more time to Queen’s Crown matches. Weird.

(Commercial)

The situation from before the break was calm so the match could begin.

Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair

Banks with a hurricanrana on Flair and then a wheelbarrow pin attempt. Banks with a kick to the face, but then Flair hit a backbreaker followed by a slam. Flair with a slam, she wanted to do more and then Lynch tagged in with a missed leg drop. Banks with a double knee to the face for two. Banks and Belair made quick aggressive tags where they smacked eachother on the shoulder. Belair missed a double axhandle, Lynch fought out of the corner and Belair hit two suplexes in a row on Lynch followed by a splash for two. Banks tagged herself in, knee to Lynch and she wanted a submission, but Lynch fought out of that. Flair tagged herself in and told Lynch to get her ass out of the ring. Banks with a backstabber on Flair. Lynch and Banks exchanged punches, Banks with a knee to the face and Belair did a hair pull on Banks. Belair punched Lynch. Banks lifted up Banks and sent her into the turnbuckle. The referee called for the bell saying double disqualification. It went about five minutes.

Match Result: Double Disqualification

Analysis: ** It was fun while it lasted, but going into it I figured WWE would book it in a way where neither team would get pinned. They went through the motions for most of it with some good spots and then it all fell apart as expected. Why book the match if you have no actual finish in mind? Because it’s WWE and they think the match itself will interest people. I just think it’s bad to book finishes like that.

Post match, Lynch tried the Disarm-her on Belair. Banks went into the ring and hit a backstabber on Belair. Banks went for the same move on Lynch, but Lynch kicked Banks down and Lynch hit a Manhandle Slam on Banks. Lynch stood tall with her Smackdown Women’s Title.

Analysis: The trio of Lynch-Banks-Belair continue to have brawling segments with a different woman in control, so I guess it was Lynch’s turn to stand tall this week. It feels repetitive seeing it week after week, but I do think they’ll have a very good match at Crown Jewel next week.

A replay was shown of The Usos talking to Big E/Drew McIntyre leading to a tag team match.

Jimmy Uso was on the phone talking to “Big Uce” (Roman Reigns) telling him everything is on lock. Jimmy hung up and said that he was told to complete the mission. They said they’re “The Ones” again.

Doudrop entered for her Queen’s Crown tournament match.

(Commercial)

There was a graphic shown of the Raw roster with the announcers talking about the new Raw roster. In the first graphic shown earlier in the night, Bianca Belair was not on it for some reason. Belair was on this one in the front row.

Doudrop did a pre-tape promo talking about winning her Queen’s Crown tournament match. Natalya entered as the opponent. Natalya was drafted to Smackdown.

Queen’s Crown Tournament – First Round: Doudrop vs. Natalya

Natalya told Doudrop her family paved the way for tournaments like this, so Natalya slapped Doudrop hard in the face. Natalya ripped off a flower in Doudrop’s hair, called it a “stupid flower” and tossed it out of the ring. Natalya with a chop, but then Doudrop hit a running shoulder tackle. Doudrop went for a running splash, Natalya moved and Natalya stomped on Doudrop’s back leading to a dropkick. Natalya applied an abdominal stretch while Shayna Baszler was shown watching on a TV backstage. Doudrop broke free and hit a running splash. Doudrop went for a corner splash, Natalya moved and Natalya hit a discus lariat for two. Natalya wanted a Sharpshooter, Doudrop with a slap to the face and Doudrop did a rollup and used her body to cover Natalya for the pinfall win. Not a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! but close to that. I think it went about three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Doudrop

Analysis: *3/4 A win for Natalya would have been good since she’s a personal favorite of mine, but I get wanting to put over the newer superstar in Doudrop. I didn’t love the ending although I get what they were going for with Doudrop doing the slap to stun Natalya and that was enough for the rollup finish. A more decisive ending would have been better, I think.

Doudrop faces Shayna Baszler in the semifinals of the Queen’s Crown tournament next week. The other match is Carmella vs. Zelina Vega from the Smackdown side.

Analysis: If they want to go with a face winner then Doudrop is the only option. I can see it being any of them, though. I don’t know who will win, but I’m kinda leaning towards Shayna Baszler for the win.

John Morrison was shown backstage in a jean jacket and jeans. Rhea Ripley and Nikki A.S.H. asked what he was doing. Morrison said he was tapping into his chi to share his innermost thoughts with the world. Nikki said that’s great and everyone should follow their dreams. Rhea asked Nikki if she knew what he was talking about. Nikki said “nope” and they left.

Analysis: Weird segment. Silly too. Add John Morrison to the list of guys that could be used a lot better along with Jeff Hardy and Ricochet. There are others too, but at least those three I feel like mentioning this week.

Big E was warming up for his tag team match. Austin Theory was shown walking backstage with his phone and took a selfie with Big E, who was just standing there. They plugged the main event tag team match again.

(Commercial)

There was a replay from earlier when Mustafa Ali shoved Mansoor down after their loss.

Mansoor was interviewed by Kevin Patrick, but it was very brief and Mustafa Ali appeared to call Mansoor a giant waste of time. Ali said that he’s trying to help Mansoor survive this place, yet Mansoor wants to dance and make friends. Ali said that Mansoor doesn’t belong here. Ali said he was the only one watching Mansoor’s back. Ali told Mansoor he’s a loser, he’s worthless and he is nothing. Mansoor said nothing, so Ali left. Patrick said that must have been hard to hear. Mansoor said he’ll talk to him later, but then Ali attacked Mansoor from behind and Ali sent Mansoor into an equipment case. Ali told Mansoor that he is nothing while kicking him repeatedly. Some help finally arrived to check on Mansoor.

Analysis: Ali is back in full heel mode after that attack. The team wasn’t really going anywhere. I just have my doubts that either guy will be pushed that much in singles. That will set up a match between Mansoor and Ali at Crown Jewel. I know it’s not a high-profile feud, but Mansoor being from Saudi Arabia means that he should get the win.

Drew McIntyre made his entrance with Angela the sword by his side. Big E was up next with the WWE Championship around his waist. I think they need to add some pyro to Big E’s entrance. Big E and Drew touched knuckles to show that they are on the same page for this match. The Usos entered as the Smackdown Tag Team Champions representing the Bloodline group. That match is after a break.

(Commercial)

The main event started after they returned from break.

Big E & Drew McIntyre vs. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso)

Big E rocked Jimmy with three elbows to the head. McIntyre and Big E did repeated tags for the New Day’s unicorn stampede series of kicks followed by a low dropkick from Drew for a two count. Jey was the legal man with a jumping forearm on Drew followed Drew kicking Jey’s arm. Drew with a suplex. Big E was back in with an abdominal stretch with punches to the ribs. Jimmy made a blind tag, kick to the back, Jey with an uppercut and Jimmy stomped on Big E repeatedly. The Usos did their quick tags leading to stomps in the corner. The Usos continued to turns working over Big E with Jey hitting repeated stomps to the stomach. Jimmy slapped on a chinlock on Big E, who fought back up and Big E hit a belly to belly suplex on Jimmy, but Jey made a blind tag. Big E tried to take out both Usos, it didn’t work, they avoided a dive by Big E and Big E was sent into the steel steps. That led to a break.

(Commercial)

The match continued with Big E still in the ring as the face in peril as Jimmy hit him with a kick to the head. Jey tagged in for a double team spinebuster for two. Jey hit a running hip attack on Big E against the turnbuckle. Jey went for another corner attack, Big E moved and Big E hit the belly to belly side slam. Drew McIntyre got the hot tag against Jimmy with Drew connecting on two clotheslines, two belly to belly release suplexes, Jimmy with a rollup and Drew got a spinebuster into a roll through for a two count. Drew went for a DDT, Jimmy got out of it and Glasgow Kiss headbutt by Drew. Jey was legal leading to a superkick and double Uso superkick. Drew broke free with neckbreakers on both Usos. Drew with a kip-up back to his feet. Drew set up in the corner, but Big E tagged in just like Drew did last week. Big E turned around right into a superkick by Jey and another superkick got two. Jey went up top, he jumped off with nothing, Big E rolled out of the way and Jimmy grabbed Drew on the apron. Big E was bumped into Drew on the apron. Big E hit a slam and wanted a pin, but Drew pulled Big E out of the ring. Drew and Big E got into a brawl at ringside as they threw eachother into objects. The referee counted to ten.

Winners by countout: The Usos

Analysis: **3/4 It was okay, but not nearly the great match it could have been. After the long heat sequence with The Usos working over Big E for several minutes, I figured they might go right to Drew McIntyre picking up the win for the team. Instead, they opted to have Big E and McIntyre arguing like small children fighting over a toy, which led to the countout finish. Another dumb finish on this show.

Big E and Drew kept on fighting on the floor, so The Usos jumped over the top onto both guys. The Usos tossed Big E over the announce table. The Usos whipped Drew into the barricade. Big E with a belly to belly suplex on Jey on the floor and Drew with a belly to belly suplex on Jimmy on the floor.

Big E and Drew got into the ring for a brawl. Big E went for a Big Ending, Drew slipped out of that and Drew hit a Claymore Kick to the head. The announcers plugged WWE Champion Big E vs. Drew McIntyre at Crown Jewel.

Drew McIntyre left the ring look angry with a knot on his forehead. Big E was back up by the apron. Drew stared back at Big E telling him now you know (because of the Claymore Kick). Drew and Big E stared at eachother. That was the end of Raw.

Analysis: It was fine in terms of building to their Crown Jewel match more. McIntyre’s Claymore Kick looked great as usual while Big E sold it well. I don’t know if they needed to do all of this or if they could have just won the tag team match and did a staredown. It’s just how WWE prefers to do it where there’s going to be conflict between two guys in a title match.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Big E
  2. Drew McIntyre
  3. Xavier Woods

 

The Scoreboard

5.5 out of 10

Last week: 6.5

2021 Average: 6.05

 

Final Thoughts

This week was a definite step back from the last few weeks when Raw was pretty good. I rated the September 13, 20 and 27 shows at 7.5 and above. This wasn’t really close to those shows because the match quality was a lot weaker. Bad week for finishes to big matches with the big women’s tag team match between Charlotte/Becky and Sasha/Bianca ending in a double disqualification and the main event tag team match between Big E/McIntyre and The Usos (which was promoted for 2.5 hours) ended in a lame countout. Why should we care about big matches on TV when WWE books those kinds of dumb finishes to the match? It’s tough to convince people to keep watching when stuff like that happens.

I’m also disappointed in how little time the Queen’s Crown matches got on this show just like on Smackdown. Of the four matches in the tournament so far, Doudrop and Natalya going three minutes is the longest match. That’s brutal. The booking could be a lot better.

Anyway, it was below average compared to the last month of shows. This Raw just felt off for most of it.

The next WWE PPV is Crown Jewel on Thursday, October 21 from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Here’s what we know so far:

WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Brock Lesnar

WWE Championship: Big E (c) vs. Drew McIntyre

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks

Hell in a Cell Match: Edge vs. Seth Rollins

No Holds Barred Match: Bobby Lashley vs. Bill Goldberg

Raw Tag Team Championships: Randy Orton & Riddle (c) vs. AJ Styles & Omos

Finals of the King of the Ring Tournament: Xavier Woods or Jinder Mahal vs. Finn Balor or Sami Zayn

Finals of the Queen’s Crown Tournament: Doudrop or Shayna Baszler vs. Carmella or Zelina Vega

Mansoor vs. Mustafa Ali

WWE Crown Jewel is live on Thursday, October 21, at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else.

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John Canton

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