Reviews

The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 10/31/22 Review

wwe raw deal october 31

This week’s WWE Raw featured Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar and a Trick or Street Fight on Halloween night.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1536 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The Raw opening video package aired. It was right to the action with Bianca Belair up first followed by Nikki Cross. They showed what happened last week when Nikki attacked Belair and Bayley. Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves were on commentary.

Bianca Belair vs. Nikki Cross

It is not a title match. Cross did a lot of screaming to show she’s crazy again as Cross hit a running cross body block followed by punches. Cross sent Belair into the turnbuckle, Belair came back with a back elbow and dropkick. Cross got boots up to stop a charging attempt, Cross jumped off the ropes and Belair caught Cross leading to a fallaway slam by Belair. Cross pulled on the apron to trip up Belair and then rammed Belair’s left knee into the apron. Cross trapped Belair against the apron while adding more punishment. They went to break there.

(Commercial)

Cross with a necksnap across the rope, but then Belair came back with multiple body slams. Belair hit a delayed vertical suplex. Belair went for the standing moonsault off the ropes, but Cross got the knees up to block. Cross jumped on Belair’s back going for a sleeper, but Belair went to the floor to get out of it. Cross jumped on Belair’s back while on the floor and Belair fell back onto Cross while on the floor. Both women were down. Dakota Kai and IYO SKY showed up at ringside, so Bayley sent Belair shoulder first into the ring post. Cross knocked down Bayley and Cross knocked Sky off the apron while Cross hit a cross body block on Kai. Cross was yelling again. Belair went back into the ring, Belair lifted up Cross to her shoulders and Belair hit the K.O.D. (Kiss of Death) slam for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bianca Belair

Analysis: **3/4 The match was okay. I didn’t like the finish much since Belair was sent into the ring post by Bayley, then 20 seconds she was fine and lifted Cross no problem for the KOD slam. I get that the story was about Belair going over strong, but they could have done the finish better. Just my take anyway. There was no threat of Cross winning although I am glad she’s back to this character instead of the superhero gimmick.

After the match, Bayley and her Damage CTRL friends attacked Belair, but Asuka and Alexa Bliss ran down to the ring for the save. Asuka with a suplex while Bliss hit a DDT and Belair dropkicked Bayley out of the ring. Asuka with a hip attack knocking Bayley out on the floor. Bliss hit a somersault dive off the apron onto Damage CTRL on the floor as the faces celebrated in the ring.

Analysis: An easy way to bring back Asuka and Bliss after selling an attack for the last three weeks.

They showed highlights of the Brock Lesnar-Bobby Lashley feud with Lashley beating up Lesnar two weeks ago on Raw including a huge spinebuster on Lesnar through the table.

Bobby Lashley and Brock Lesnar were up next.

(Commercial)

Alexa Bliss and Asuka with Bianca Belair were backstage with Cathy Kelley doing the interview. Belair said that Bayley has pinned her twice, but only one of us is walking out. Bliss said that they have been on Bianca’s side when this started with Damage CTRL and they are with her. Bliss said she wanted her and Asuka to get a Tag Team Title match against Damage CTRL’s IYO SKY and Dakota Kai tonight.

Let’s Hear from Bobby Lashley and Brock Lesnar

There was supposed to be a split-screen interview. Lashley was there, but Lesnar was not. Lashley said that Lesnar has been ducking him for 20 years, then Lashley mentioned beating Lesnar at Royal Rumble and putting him through the table on Raw. Lashley said he would expose Lesnar for who he is: “A Bobby Lashley wannabe.”

Brock Lesnar’s music as the smiling cowboy made his entrance with a black cowboy hat and the fans popped for Lesnar as the pyro went off for his entrance. Lashley was still seated where was doing the interview.

Lesnar was in the ring with the fans cheering him and chanting “Lesnar” for him. Lesnar said that he didn’t come to Texas to have a sitdown interview with Bobby Lashley. Lesnar said when he visits these good folks in Texas, he wants to do what the good folks of Texans normally do – he wants to fight. Lashley got up out of the chair with Lesnar telling Lashley to get out there for an ass beating.

Lashley’s music hit as Lesnar faced the aisle. Lesnar was wearing a Megadeth shirt while Lashley was in a suit. Lesnar met Lashley in the aisle and did a double-leg takedown. The locker room was emptied out as security and other wrestlers were there to try to keep them apart. Triple H was there as well to make sure Lashley backed away. Lesnar broke free, he ran at Lashley and they kept on fighting some more. Triple H was telling a referee: “If they touch then their fight is off.” That was it.

Analysis: It was a nice tease of a potential fight, but there wasn’t much happening here. I think by having Triple H get involved, they are making it seem bigger than it was because Triple H is the boss now. I am looking forward to Lashley-Lesnar at Crown Jewel and think it will be much better than their Royal Rumble match was.

Up next was Seth Rollins facing Austin Theory.

(Commercial)

They showed a replay of the Lesnar-Lashley fight before the break.

Austin Theory was up first along with a pre-tape promo about demanding respect and the usual stuff. Seth “Freakin” Rollins was next as the US Champion as replays were shown when Rollins had to deal with Mustafa Ali.

Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. Austin Theory

Rollins had some blonde color in the lower part of his long hair. The fans were singing along with Seth’s music during his entrance and at the start of the match. They exchanged some moves early, Rollins wanted a Pedigree, but Theory backed out of the ring and went to the floor. Rollins outsmarted Theory by avoiding an elbow drop Rollins kicked Theory into the barricade, Rollins suplexed Theory across the barricade, then with Theory hanging off the barricade, Rollins jumped off the commentary table with a knee to the back. Back in the ring, Rollins tried a springboard attack, but Theory knocked him down to send Rollins out of the ring. Theory sent Rollins into the announce table and then into the steel steps leading to a break.

(Commercial)

Theory hit a corner clothesline followed by a fallaway slam across the ring. The Women’s Tag Team Title match was made official later on Raw. Rollins sent Theory out of the ring with a clothesline followed by Rollins hitting a suicide dive. Rollins went back into the ring and back out with another suicide dive. Theory got back into it with an elbow to the head, but Rollins came back with a Falcon Arrow slam for two. Rollins went for The Stomp, Theory avoided it, Rollins with a headbutt while on the apron, then a jumping knee off the top and a superkick for two. Theory countered a Rollins move leading to each guy getting three pin attempts in a row. Theory with a forearm to the face followed by a cradle suplex into a knee for two. Theory doesn’t win matches with that move, but it’s a good nearfall spot. Rollins with an enziguri, then Theory jumped back into it with a blockbuster neckbreaker for two. That was a great spot! Theory lifted Rollins, who hit Theory with elbows to the head. Rollins with an elbow to the jaw, Theory ducked an elbow and Theory hit a superkick followed by a forearm. Theory teased his own Pedigree, Rollins got out of it, slammed Theory into the mat and Rollins hit The Stomp for the pinfall win after 15 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Seth “Freakin” Rollins

Analysis: ***3/4 This was a great match with Rollins bringing out the best in Theory. They had chemistry right away and it was an entertaining match. Rollins is among the best in WWE while Theory is a guy that’s on the rise that keeps getting better. Rollins felt like a babyface in this match, so maybe that’s a direction they are going with him and that’s why he added the blonde streak to his hair. It sure feels like he was the face in this match with his mannerisms. Obviously, the crowd sings Seth’s song everywhere he goes, so I get why they might have done the turn.

Rollins celebrated with the US Title while Graves praised the match calling it a “banger” and the fans were singing Seth’s song again.

They showed a Chevy truck driving up to the arena leading to Romans and Paul Heyman arriving to the building.

This Tuesday on NXT: Mandy Rose celebrated 1-Year as NXT Women’s Champion.

(Commercial)

There was breaking news that Bray Wyatt will be at Crown Jewel this Saturday.

Let’s Hear from Roman Reigns

The Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Special Counsel Paul Heyman made their entrance to a loud reaction from the crowd. There was no Sami Zayn, Solo Sikoa or The Usos because they were in Europe at Smackdown live events. They showed photos of WWE fans dressing up as The Bloodline for Halloween with Graves saying they weren’t “ucey enough” for him as a reference to what happened on Smackdown last week. Reigns did his usual posing with his two titles along with a slow walk on the way to the ring. Reigns held up his two titles in the ring as fireworks went off in the building. The fans were chanting “Ucey” before Reigns started the promo.

Reigns: “Dallas, Texas…acknowledge me.” That led to a lot of cheers with some boos. Reigns said that he’s got Sami and Jey out there in the world working on becoming a “little more Ucey.” Reigns said that by the time they are done in Saudi Arabia, you should see more of an “Ucey” right-hand man, Jey Uso. Reigns said enough of the “Ucey” talk right now.

Reigns talked about how for two years now, he’s been hyping opponents and then they get to the match where his opponents get smashed. Reigns said let’s be honest because “I’m the greatest of all time.” Reigns mocked Logan Paul for having just two matches, so there’s no way he’s going to hype up a match with an outsider like Logan Paul. Reigns said he won’t do that, but the Wise Man (Heyman) will.

Heyman said that as the Special Counsel and Wise Man to the Tribal Chief, Heyman said it’s incumbent to at least mention the fact that Logan has steel screws inserted into the hand that he is determined to throw the “one lucky punch” with. Heyman mentioned Logan training with “HBK” Shawn Michaels and even with all of this, at Crown Jewel, Logan is going to get smashed by the “Tribal Chief” Roman Reigns. Heyman said that Reigns cannot tolerate an outsider.

The Miz made the interruption with Reigns looking upset about it as Miz made his entrance wearing his silly ring gear. The Miz said he acknowledged Reigns and he was there because nobody in WWE knows Logan the way he does. Miz said that the right hand of Logan is real, he has power and said to ask Jey (Uso) because Logan knocked him out on Smackdown. Miz said that he was sorry he didn’t come sooner to give Reigns advice because Miz has been dealing with a deranged stalker. Miz suggested Reigns help Miz with his problem while Miz can help Reigns neutralize Logan Paul.

Reigns asked if you’re just trying to cut a deal? Reigns said it doesn’t sound too bad. Miz sucked up to Reigns saying it was Roman’s ring. Reigns wondered why was everybody talking about Logan Paul knocking him out? Reigns knocked out Miz with a Superman Punch. Reigns said that they should be talking about him knocking out Logan and then you’ll have no choice but to acknowledge him. Reigns left the ring and spoke into the camera saying he’s above everybody.

Analysis: A solid promo from Reigns as usual. They did a nice job of putting over the idea that maybe Logan does have a shot with “one lucky shot” if he can punch Reigns in the match. Reigns getting mad about it and decking poor Miz with a Superman Punch was a way to remind people of Roman’s power as well. Of course, the Superman Punch is not Roman’s finisher and usually leads to a two count since the Spear is his finisher. Anyway, I thought that was an effective way to build up Roman even more going into Crown Jewel. Reigns and Logan were only on Raw or Smackdown once together in the build to this match, which hurts the build a bit. I think Reigns is obviously going to win at Crown Jewel, but Paul should get plenty of offense and come close to winning a few times.

A commercial aired for Smackdown with GUNTHER defending the Intercontinental Championship against Rey Mysterio in the main event. A clip was shown of “Uncle Howdy” talking on Smackdown last week too. It was taped last week.

(Commercial)

The Miz was shown with an ice pack on the left side of his jaw with Cathy Kelley telling Miz that Johnny Gargano did a tell-all interview that airs later tonight. The Miz said he had a match against Mustafa Ali that he wanted to be canceled. Miz said if WWE likes the slanderous puff piece from Gargano then he’ll do a lawsuit. Mustafa Ali walked in saying everything is bigger in Texas, then look down at Miz’s groin and told Miz he has tiny balls. Miz said he’ll beat Ali with a broken jaw. Ali said “looking forward to it” and left.

The Judgment Day’s foursome of Finn Balor, Damian Priest, Dominik Mysterio and Rhea Ripley entered. They face The OC trio of AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson at Crown Jewel this Saturday. Karl was in action this week against Priest after facing Balor last week.

Damian Priest (w/Finn Balor, Dominik Mysterio & Rhea Ripley)vs. Karl Anderson (w/AJ Styles & Luke Gallows)

Priest hit a jumping back elbow followed by a punch, Anderson with a kick to the chest and a clothesline that sent Priest out of the ring. Anderson tackled Priest into the ring post. Anderson punched Dominik down while on the floor, so Priest kicked Anderson to knock him down.

(Commercial)

Priest was in control with a punch, jumping back elbow and a sitout slam into a suplex for two. Anderson with a jawbreaker, Anderson got a boot up and Priest missed a corner attack when Karl moved, so Anderson hit a jumping kick. Anderson with a kick to the gut, then a shoulder block and Anderson ran the ropes leading to a running senton on Priest. Anderson hit a spinebuster for two. Anderson up top, he took way too long, a distraction from Ripley, Anderson jumped off with nothing and Priest hit a lifting flatliner. Anderson countered Priest and got a backslide pin for the win after seven minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Karl Anderson

Analysis: **1/4 This was just average with most of it with nearly half of it taking place during the break. They could time that better. The crowd wasn’t really into the match very much. A backslide pin winning a match is pretty rare, but at least it’s different than the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! that is used far too often. The OC needed a win since The Judgment Day has dominated much of the feud, so that result is fine with Anderson beating Priest like that.

After the match, the two groups were fighting in the ring. Gallows decked Dominik with an uppercut and Ripley hit Gallows with a low blow from behind. Gallows sold it like the most painful low blow in wrestling history. The J-Day group beat up Styles with Priest hitting AJ with the Razor’s Edge. Balor went up top and hit a Coup de Grace double foot stomp on Styles. Gallows was still selling the groin injury. Dominik went up top and hit a Frog Splash to boos from the crowd. When they showed replays, the announcers put over Ripley being the x-factor in the segment. Gallows was still selling the low blow for about two minutes after it happened.

Analysis: It was yet another successful attack from The Judgment Day as we see nearly every week from them. Ripley playing a big role has been a consistent factor in this story.

Omos and MVP were shown standing backstage. MVP said that Braun can show off his power all he wants, but he can never measure up to 7’3” giant Omos because Braun will find out Saturday at Crown Jewel or perhaps Braun will find out a little sooner. MVP said they’re coming to Smackdown on Friday and has a surprise for Strowman.

Analysis: A nice tease for Smackdown. As I noted earlier, it was taped last Friday.

John Bradshaw Layfield made his entrance for a Baron Corbin match up next.

(Commercial)

A video aired promoting Crown Jewel and the Steel Cage Match between Drew McIntyre and Karrion Kross in a Steel Cage Match.

John Bradshaw Layfield did a promo talking about how it was so good being in the lone star state of Texas. JBL told stories about Texas sports while saying “how about ‘dem Cowboys” to reference the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL. JBL mentioned wrestling legends from Texas like the Von Erichs and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (add Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker and Booker T as well to name a few). JBL said that the greatness of Texas was immeasurable and then the current generation has ruined it. JBL ripped on Halloween with people “begging for food” saying we don’t need to do that. JBL said that not a single one of you should be allowed to call yourself a Texan and told the crowd they disgusted him. JBL told the crowd to put their “woke, chubby hands together” to welcome the Modern-Day “Wrestling God” Baron Corbin. That led to Corbin’s entrance with the fans booing him.

Analysis: It was the usual JBL promo insulting the fans. It’s entertaining even when he’s in his home state.

Baron Corbin did a promo saying it has made their night being in the presence of a Modern-Day Wrestling God like him. Corbin said he has it all while the fans have nothing. Corbin thanked the fans for scraping their last few dollars to come see him tonight. Corbin said it shows him how much they truly love him.

R-Truth was up next doing his “What’s Up” entrance while wearing a cowboy hat of his own while bringing a stuffed horse to the ring with him.

JBL told Truth that he looked ridiculous. Truth said he wanted to wish Dallas a Happy Halloween, which led to cheers. Truth said he really liked both of their Halloween costumes. JBL told Truth they are not wearing costumes. Truth said they looked like costumes. Truth said that JBL was dressed like an angry mad, out-of-touch old man. Truth called Corbin the “world’s biggest” and Corbin tried a punch, so Truth fought back with a jumping kick. JBL yelled at Truth, so Corbin hit Truth in the back with a forearm and Corbin hit the End of Days slam. The fans booed as JBL and Corbin left.

Analysis: It was just a way to put over the new act of Corbin with JBL by his side. Truth had some funny lines as usual, but Truth was just there to get his ass kicked and played his role well as usual.

Matt Riddle was up next against Otis in a Trick or Street Fight.

(Commercial)

Damage CTRL was shown backstage with Bayley talking to Nikki Cross, who smiled and walked away.

Matt Riddle made his entrance dressed up like Ezekiel while Elias was with Riddle.

Chad Gable did a pre-match promo ripping the fans for being Dallas dimwits. Gable said that Halloween was his favorite holiday, so he dressed like Patrick Swayze as the legendary dancer, Chip. Otis was up next dressed as “Dale” and they were both in robs. They did a dance routine.

Analysis: The outfits were from a classic Saturday Night Live skit with Swayze and Chris Farley with Otis in the Farley role here. Otis has done some Farley mannerisms for years, so that’s no surprise.

Trick or Street Fight: Matt Riddle (w/Elias) vs. Otis (w/Chad Gable)

There were pumpkins on the ring apron along with other weapons all around ringside. It’s a Street Fight, so no countouts or disqualifications. Riddle sent Otis into the turnbuckle where a skeleton was. Riddle kicked Gable and Riddle hit a Floating Bro off the middle rope onto both guys.

(Commercial)

Riddle hit a knee lift on Otis, then running forearms and Riddle ran right into a body attack by Otis. The big man Otis hit a running splash in the corner. Otis did a Worm leading to an elbow drop with Gable telling him to do it tonight “one night only.” Riddle avoided a charge and Otis hit a steel chair against the turnbuckle. Elias tossed Riddle a candy cane kendo stick, then Riddle hit Otis a few times and Gable clotheslined Riddle down. Ezekiel into the ring and he gave Gable a knee to knock him off the apron through a table. Riddle wanted an RKO, Otis caught him and gave him a front slam. Otis went to the middle rope, he did a lot of taunting and Riddle avoided the splash. Ezekiel put a jack-o-lantern on Otis and Riddle hit an RKO on Otis (with the pumpkin on Otis’ head) for the pinfall win after eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Matt Riddle

Analysis: ** It was a comedy match that had some fun moments, but it’s not like they were trying to have an amazing match. They had some fun and that’s what it was all about. Riddle winning was obvious since he was the face while Otis was a heel that did some funny things in the match as well.

The Damage CTRL trio was backstage with Dakota Kai complaining about having to defend the Women’s Tag Team Titles, IYO SKY was confident they will win and Bayley motivated them with a speech. Bayley said they are taking control of this division and they will be the last women standing by this time next week.

The Miz made his entrance while revealing his “My Balls Are Massive” t-shirt. A replay was shown of Roman Reigns giving Miz a Superman Punch earlier in the night.

(Commercial)

Mustafa Ali entered as The Miz’s opponent.

The Miz vs. Mustafa Ali

The first minute of the match had Miz looking apprehensive about wrestling because he was selling the jaw injury. Miz was in control with a hard whip into the turnbuckle. Ali jumped over Miz, who tried a hiptoss, Ali landed on his feet and got a pin attempt. Ali with an inverted atomic drop, then some chops and Ali with a rolling neckbreaker for two. Ali went up top, Miz avoided a 450 splash, Ali charged and Miz hit a boot to the face with Ali doing a flip bump. Miz whipped Ali face first into the middle turnbuckle. Great sell by Ali there.

(Commercial)

Miz was in control with the kicks to the chest on a seated Ali. Miz missed a kick when Ali moved and Ali hit double knees to the back. Ali with chops, Miz hit a knee to the ribs and Miz did a kick to the knee followed by a DDT for two. Ali countered a Miz move for a pin attempt for two and then Ali hit a satellite DDT leading to Miz bailing to the floor. Ali jumped off the top with a cross body block on Miz on the floor. Miz shoved Ali backwards onto the commentary table so Ali went over the table. When Miz tossed Ali back towards the ring, Dexter Lumis grabbed Miz, who escaped. Did the referee not see that? I guess not. Lumis went over the barricade into the crowd, then a “security” guy jumped over the barricade. That was impressive! Back to the match, Miz was looking at Lumis running away and Ali hit a superkick when Miz turned around. Ali went up top and he hit the 450 Splash for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Mustafa Ali

Analysis: **3/4 A solid match with a distraction finish to put over Ali because they probably don’t want him to beat Miz clean. The distraction finishes are a common thing on Raw. It was also a way to get Ali a win over a credible opponent to try to set up Ali for a US Title shot in the future. That 450 Splash looks great every time Ali does it.

A Johnny Gargano “Tell All Interview” about the Miz-Lumis story was up next.

(Commercial)

WWE Investigates – Johnny Gargano Tell All Interview

There was a segment with Byron Saxton hosting a segment that was like a 60 Minutes-style interview. Saxton asked Johnny Gargano “who is Dexter Lumis?” Gargano said that Lumis has quirks, but he is trying to make a living like the rest of us. Gargano said Lumis married into his NXT Family and he had to accept him like a son-in-law or pet raccoon. That led to re-enactment scenes where Gargano played the characters in ridiculous costumes. Gargano talked about Lumis falling on hard times when he lost his job, then The Miz took advantage of it and Gargano said this is the whole truth. Gargano said on the night of his return in August, he heard Miz and Lumis talking. Gargano played a clip of Miz telling Lumis he was a little snug, when Lumis grabbed, but Miz wanted to keep doing it because it was working and Miz said he’ll pay him to do more. Miz told Lumis to take the money and keep his mouth shut, which shouldn’t be an issue.

Gargano said that Miz was paying Lumis to stage a series of attacks on Miz. Gargano said Miz did it because he thinks he’s a celebrity that fabricates stories and calls paparazzi to cover himself all the time. Gargano mentioned footage from Raw like when Lumis grabbed Miz from ringside, Miz practically walked away with him because he was barely struggling. Saxton mentioned when Lumis put Miz to sleep after costing Miz the US Title. Gargano said it was Miz orchestrating his own downfall. Gargano said it was a painful way for Miz to keep the blame off himself. Gargano claimed that somewhere along the way, Miz must have stopped paying Dexter and that’s why Dexter was coming after him…until Dexter gets what he is owed. Saxton thanked Gargano.

After the segment aired, the heel announcer Graves said he didn’t believe a word of what Gargano was saying because it was garbage and a farce.

Analysis: It was a good storyline explanation from Gargano, who can probably turn all of this into his own feud with The Miz. A lot of what Gargano said made sense as far as the story goes because of the kind of character that Miz is. It wraps up the story in a nice way while Miz can do the heelish thing by saying he didn’t pay Lumis anything and then we can have Lumis do a drawing to confirm that Miz did pay him. Anyway, at least there was an explanation for the storyline, which is a good thing for us as viewers.

The announcers did a rundown of the Crown Jewel lineup this Saturday, November 5th. That’s one day after my birthday. I may be a bit hungover on Saturday as I write about Crown Jewel in the afternoon, but I think I’ll be able to do it.

* Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Logan Paul

* Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley

* The OC – AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. The Judgment Day – Finn Balor, Damian Priest & Dominik Mysterio (w/Rhea Ripley)

* Steel Cage Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Karrion Kross (w/Scarlett)

* Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) vs. The Brawling Brutes (Butch & Ridge Holland)

* Braun Strowman vs. Omos

* Bray Wyatt will be at Crown Jewel

* Last Woman Standing Match for the Raw Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs. Bayley

We will have a Crown Jewel preview up on Friday afternoon for the show.

Bianca Belair, the Raw Women’s Champion, made her entrance to support her friends. Asuka and Alexa Bliss entered as the challengers for the tag team title match.

(Commercial)

The Damage CTRL trio of Bayley and Women’s Tag Team Champions IYO SKY & Dakota Kai for this title defense. Ring announcer Mike Rome did the championship introductions while the competitors were in the ring.

Women’s Tag Team Championships: Damage CTRL – Dakota Kai & IYO SKY (w/Bayley) vs. Alexa Bliss & Asuka (w/Bianca Belair)

Bliss was aggressive against Sky with kicks in the corner, then a hair pull into the mat and Bliss kicked Sky in the back. Bliss stomped on Sky’s head a bit. Sky avoided a knee drop and hit a clothesline. Kai tagged in with a kick that didn’t touch Bliss, but she had to sell it anyway, Sky with a dropkick while legal woman Kai got a two count. Kai hit a running kick to the face for a two count. Sky and Kai made some quick tags as they worked over Bliss in the corner. Bliss with a trip leading to a slam into the mat. Bliss with double knees followed by a senton splash. Bliss hit a headscissors takedown out of the corner. Asuka tagged in with a hair pull on Kai, the Asuka with strikes and a German Suplex on Kai. When Asuka tried a tag, Kai did her own hair pull. Sky faced off against Asuka as the two talented Japanese women faced off. They hit eachother with strikes, Asuka with a kick to the ribs, Sky with a running elbow and Asuka hit a running clothesline. Bliss with punch and Asuka hit a slam leading to Bliss getting a two count. Asuka was back in with a dropkick to knock Sky out of the ring while Asuka knocked Kai off the apron. Kai hit a running dropkick on Bliss on the floor. Asuka battled Sky on the floor with Asuka sending Sky into the post. Asuka went for a kick, Sky avoided it and Asuka’s right foot hit the ring post. Sky with a dragon screw leg whip on Asuka on the floor leading to a break.

(Commercial)

Asuka was the face in peril fighting out of the heel corner as she hit a clothesline on Sky. Asuka went for a move, Sky kicked the right knee and Asuka came back with a rollup. Sky hit an uppercut, but then she charged, Asuka avoided that and Sky bumped to the floor. Kai went for a kick, Asuka rolled her up and Asuka got a backslide pin on Kai for two. Asuka tossed Kai out of the ring. I think Kai could be heard telling her to do that, but I’m not sure. Anyway, Asuka sent Sky out of the ring and Bliss tagged in against Kai with Bliss aggressively tackling Kai leading to punches. Bliss with a dropkick into the ropes followed by double knees to the back. Kai sent Bliss into the top turnbuckle, then Bliss hit a Code Red out of the corner for a two count. Asuka tagged back in, Bliss with a dropkick and Asuka hit a legsweep into an armbar, but Sky broke it up. Bliss back in, so Sky gave her a backbreaker. Kai tripped up Asuka by wrenching on the injured right knee. Sky was back in with a running double knee attack in the corner. Sky hit a springboard missile dropkick for two. Sky jumped off the top with nothing leading to Asuka hitting her with double knees. Sky countered a submission attempt into a pin for two. Asuka applied the Asuka Lock submission, Sky was tapping but Bayley distracted the referee. Kai broke up the submission. Belair knocked Bayley down on the floor and Belair tackled Bayley over the barricade. Kai knocked Bliss out of the ring, Asuka with a kick and Kai hit a Scorpion Kick on Asuka. Bayley and Belair were fighting on some makeshift platform by the barricade and Bayley gave Belair a Bayley to Belly through a nearby table! That was nice. The fans chanted “holy shit” for that but it was muted since it’s a PG show. Asuka kicked Sky, Kai avoided an attack and Kai kicked Asuka. Bliss pulled Kai out of the ring and Bliss sent Kai into the steps. Sky kicked Bliss, who was on the floor. Sky went for the moonsault off the top on Asuka, but Asuka moved and Asuka kicked Sky in the head. Bliss tagged in and Bliss hit Twisted Bliss off the top for the one…two…and three! New Women’s Tag Team Champions! This went about 16 minutes.

Winners by pinfall AND NEW Women’s Tag Team Champions: Alexa Bliss & Asuka

Analysis: ***1/2 This was very good, especially in the last few minutes. I didn’t expect a title change, but I’m certainly fine with it because Bliss & Asuka getting revenge by winning the titles is a fine way to continue this story. It’s better than doing a distraction finish yet again because sometimes the faces need to win these kinds of matches and that’s what happened here. I was really impressed by the performance of Bliss in this match because she was really aggressive throughout the match. That’s not to say she’s ever bad in the ring, but Bliss was very intense and that helped the match. Asuka and Sky were awesome as usual, Kai is very good and they had an ending that made the fans happy. The Damage CTRL title reign lasted only 49 days, which means seven weeks. It was also smart to have Bayley/Bliss take eachother out to prevent interference in the finish.

Alexa Bliss and Asuka celebrated with the Women’s Tag Team Titles while the fans popped for the finish. After some replays, Bliss and Asuka held up their titles as some pyro went off. The new champions continued to celebrate while the announcers plugged Crown Jewel on Saturday. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: Asuka is now a three-time Women’s Tag Team Champion with three different partners. Asuka has won the titles with Kairi Sane, Charlotte Flair and now Bliss. The only other three-time Women’s Tag Team Champion in WWE is Sasha Banks.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Seth “Freakin” Rollins
  2. Alexa Bliss & Asuka
  3. Austin Theory/Dakota Kai/IYO SKY

 

The Scoreboard

7 out of 10

Last week: 7.25

 

Final Thoughts

It was mostly a good show. I wouldn’t call it a great Raw on the same level as some of the better episodes in the last three months, but I enjoyed much of it. The second hour wasn’t as interesting as the first and third hours. The best match was Seth Rollins beating Austin Theory with Rollins looking like he’s a babyface again (with some blonde hair back). The fans love the song, so I get it. Asuka & Alexa Bliss winning the Women’s Tag Team Titles over Damage CTRL was a pretty good main event match as well.

The Roman Reigns promo with Paul Heyman being interrupted by The Miz was an entertaining segment. It was a rough night for Miz since he lost to Mustafa Ali and Johnny Gargano revealed The Miz’s real story with Dexter Lumis about how Miz paid Lumis to attack him. At least it’s an explanation for the story, so I like that.

They did a solid job of building some of the Crown Jewel matches involving Raw talent. Most of the Smackdown crew is in Europe. I would have liked to see a bit more of Brock Lesnar-Bobby Lashley, but I have been happy with the build to that match and I’m looking forward to that match.

The next WWE Premium Live Event is Crown Jewel from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday, November 5th. Here’s the lineup.

Brock Lesnar WWE Crown Jewel Bobby Lashley

* Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Logan Paul

* Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley

* Steel Cage Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Karrion Kross (w/Scarlett)

* Last Woman Standing Match for the Raw Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs. Bayley

* Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) vs. The Brawling Brutes (Butch & Ridge Holland)

* Braun Strowman vs. Omos (w/MVP)

* The OC – AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. The Judgment Day – Finn Balor, Damian Priest & Dominik Mysterio (w/Rhea Ripley)

You can watch WWE Crown Jewel on Saturday, November 5, at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT, streaming live from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, exclusively on Peacock in the U.S. and on WWE Network everywhere else.

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Check out the WWE PPV Review archive right here. You can contact me using any of the methods below. Go Los Angeles Rams, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. Be safe and smart out there.

Thanks for reading.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport