This week’s WWE Raw featured Seth Rollins defending the US Title, The Bloodline in a six-man tag team match and the build to Survivor Series began.
I’m going to post photos in the WWE reviews instead of videos. I think it’s better. If you want the videos, check out WWE’s Youtube channel. I’m happy to go back to posting videos if enough people complain to me about it. The reason I do it is that otherwise, it would be about 7,000 words of text, so it’s good to break it up with images or videos.
The Raw intro video aired. I miss Kevin Owens being on this show. Just saying.
It was the follow up to Crown Jewel from this past Saturday. The commentary team of Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves mentioned Seth Rollins defending the US Title in an open challenge later in the show.
Let’s Hear From The Usos and The New Day
The Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos made their entrance with their brother Solo Sikoa. The Usos defend those Tag Team Titles against The New Day on Smackdown. If The Usos win, they have the longest Tag Team Title reign ever, but if The New Day wins then they prevent The Usos from beating New Day’s record. There were “Sami” chants before they spoke.
Jey Uso said that The Bloodline is in your city. Jimmy Uso mentioned Roman Reigns smashed Logan Paul and The Usos smashed The Brawling Brutes. They showed a photo of a post-match celebration with their titles. Jey mentioned The New Day match as the fans chanted “New Day rocks” at them. Jey said that after Friday, you’re looking at the newest longest-reigning WWE Tag Team Champions ever…and here comes New Day.
The New Day’s Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods did a promo on their way to the ring. Kofi congratulated The Usos for their victory over The Brawling Brutes at Crown Jewel. Jimmy said they had some private jet lag, but they’re doing alright. Xavier Woods said in four days on Friday Night Smackdown you’ll see The New Day defending their reign against the current Tag Team Champions, The Usos. Woods said they will once again be champions and their reign of 483 days as champions will stay intact. Jimmy and Jey talked about all that New Day has done in their careers as champion, their Youtube channel, their merchandise and so on while Jimmy told New Day that they were the second-best tag team in WWE.
Woods replied to The Usos saying they still hold the record, which means The Usos are chasing New Day. Woods said that they are chasing the guys who changed what tag team wrestling looks like today and they are first-generation superstars. Woods said that Usos got tryouts based on what family members did before them based on uncles, cousins, father and their families. Jimmy talked about how they have been under pressure their whole lives. Jey fired up as The Usos talked about how spoke about pressure. Woods said don’t speak to them like you know what pressure is. Woods talking about trying to get noticed in catering, then getting a Youtube show that was successful and building a three-man group, which led to “New Day rocks” chants. Woods said that the pressure turned them into diamonds. Jimmy said that the diamonds used to be in Xavier’s crown King Woods and Jimmy mentioned Jey stomped the crown. Jimmy and Jey said they had the crowns new – the titles. Jimmy said that if they never forfeited their match then there never would have been Kofi-Mania because they gave them that chance and Kofi got those nice pictures with his kids. Jey told them to stay home with their kids and stay home on Friday. Kofi wondered what kind of father he would be if he forfeited this match. Kofi said that this represents a time when they were saddled with a gimmick of positively preachers. Kofi talked about how they fought, how they were told that they sucked and then they overcame that.
Matt Riddle showed up for the interruption on his scooter…bro. Riddle went into the ring with the bongos saying they were forming a band, so he talked to Woods the trombone player. Jey told Riddle to shut up so Riddle said he likes to relax and hit the bong. Woods and Kofi hit the bongos so Riddle could ask: “Do you want to hit the bong?” Solo didn’t want to do it, but Jimmy got into it. Riddle said the rules were “tap, tap pass.” Riddle said that Jey hasn’t been so “ucey” lately. Jey shoved the bongos away. Riddle: “No man slaps my bong.” Riddle suggested a good-old fashioned six-man tag because New Day rocks.
Analysis: I thought it was a pretty good promo between the tag teams. The New Day did a nice job of explaining why winning the titles means a lot to them and wanting to keep the record for longest title reign while The Usos were insulting with some of their insults. The Usos wanting to break the record is enough motivation for them as well. I like both teams a lot, so it should be a great match. Adding Riddle to the mix to set up a six-man tag team match is fine since Riddle really isn’t doing much else these days.
Matt Riddle, Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston vs. The Bloodline – Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso & Solo Sikoa
Riddle with a kick on Jimmy along with a gutwrench suplex. New Day and Riddle did the unicorn stampede on Jimmy in the corner by doing some quick tags to make it legal. Kofi tagged in with a dropkick on Jimmy. Jey tagged in with a forearm, then he ran the ropes and hit a shoulder tackle. Kofi hit a jumping back elbow for two. Woods back in with a submission working on the arms of Jey, then Riddle back in with a kick and Jey hit a spinning kick on Riddle. Jey went for a punch, but Riddle used his legs to pull Jey over the top to the floor. Jimmy distracted the referee, so Solo did a cheap shot punch on Riddle to knock him off the apron to the floor.
The Usos hit a double-team spinebuster on Riddle for a two count. Jimmy hit a running hip attack on Riddle for two. Solo tagged in with some headbutts. Jey was back in as Riddle fought out of the corner and hit a suplex on Jey. Solo was back in, Riddle hit a rising knee on Solo and Woods tagged in with kicks. Kofi with a running kick on Solo, Woods with a clothesline, Kofi with a splash and Woods with a fist drop for just one on Solo. Kofi was back in with a cross body block on Solo along with a running kick. Kofi hit a boom drop leg drop on Solo. Kofi kicked Jey off the apron, but Solo came back with a belly-to-belly suplex. Solo punched Kofi off the apron and onto the hood of the commentary table. Solo knocked down Woods with an elbow smash leading to a break.
Solo was in control against Kofi with Solo blocking a sunset flip attempt by hitting a leg drop. Jimmy back in with a backbreaker leading to Jey tagging in with a chop off the top rope on Kofi. Solo back in, he charged, Kofi got a boot up and Kofi hit a Tornado DDT off the middle rope. Riddle tagged in against Jey with Riddle hitting kicks on both Usos, then a jumping kick, a ripcord knee on Jimmy and forearm smashes on both Usos along with a knee on Solo. Riddle hit an Exploder Suplex on both Usos back to back. Riddle hit broton splashes on both Usos and a running kick on Jey. Riddle with a Powerbomb on Jey followed by a running knee for two. That was a flurry of offense. Jey avoided a diving attack, then Jey hit a superkick and a lifting neckbreaker for two. Jey up top, he jumped off with nothing, but Jimmy made the tag before the leap and Jimmy hit an Uso Splash. Woods made the save for his team, he punched Jey out of the ring and Solo sent Woods out of the ring. Solo shoved Woods over the table. Solo punched Kofi and Solo sent Kofi into the steel steps. Riddle with a running kick on Solo along with a Floating Bro on Solo on the floor. Jimmy hit a suicide dive on Riddle on the floor. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Back in the ring, Riddle hit an Orton-like draping DDT. Solo got the tag, but Riddle didn’t see it. Riddle hit the RKO on Jimmy, then Solo went back into the ring and hit the Spinning Solo on Riddle for the pinfall win. It went 21 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Bloodline – Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso & Solo Sikoa
Analysis: ***1/2 A very good match with some talented performers that worked well together. They continue to book Solo Sikoa strongly since he wins nearly every match he has and when he’s in a tag team match like this he’s usually the one that gets the pinfall. I thought the finish was set up really well with the blind tag that Riddle didn’t see, which allowed Solo to capitalize for the win. By having Riddle get pinned, you also don’t weaken The New Day or The Usos going into their title match on Smackdown.
A video aired showing highlights of WWE Crown Jewel from Saturday night.
John Bradshaw Layfield made his entrance in a suit. Somebody asked me why he has dress pants that look like their too big. I don’t know. Some people like that style, I guess. Good for him.
There was a commercial for NXT promoting the NXT Women’s Tag Team Title match. Look for Zoey Stark to turn heel after her team with Nikkita Lyons loses the match.
John Bradshaw Layfield did a promo ripping on the town they were in saying it wasn’t a great arena. JBL mocked them for the Philadelphia Phillies losing the World Series. JBL claimed that Baron Corbin was going to save this business (heels lie) and called Baron a modern-day Wrestling God (told you heels lie). The fans did not agree. Corbin made his entrance for a match.
Baron Corbin (w/JBL) vs. Cedric Alexander
JBL joined commentary for this match. Corbin drove Alexander into the corner and stomped on him. Corbin sent Alexander into the turnbuckle, then Alexander avoided a charge, so Corbin did his slide back in spot leading to a clothesline. Nice flip bump by Alexander. Cedric with a dropkick to the leg and Cedric hit a Neuralizer kick. Corbin was on the floor, so Alexander hit him with a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Alexander jumped off the ropes, Corbin caught him and Corbin hit the End of Days slam for the pinfall win after about two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Baron Corbin
Analysis: *1/2 A dominant win to put over Corbin. Alexander is talented, but he’s just not featured much in today’s WWE.
Seth “Freakin” Rollins was shown backstage dancing with the US Title around his waist.
A video was shown of Logan Paul’s top rope elbow drop spot from Crown Jewel. There was a graphic telling us that it has over 40 million views, which makes it the most-viewed social media clip of 2022.
Let’s Hear from Seth Rollins
Seth “Freakin” Rollins made his entrance as the United States Champion with the crowd singing along with the song as usual. Seth welcomed us to “Monday Night Rollins” as usual. Seth claimed that right here and right now is the United States Championship open challenge. Here comes The Judgment Day.
The Judgment Day foursome consisting of Finn Balor, Damian Priest, Dominik Mysterio and Rhea Ripley made their entrance. Balor was in the ring while the other J-Day members were on the floor. Balor said that a couple of years ago, Rollins cost him some gold, so Balor will cost him gold tonight.
The OC trio of AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson made their entrance to confront The Judgment Day. As the factions faced off, Rollins backed out of the ring and left with the US Title.
Styles told Balor that this is far from over. Balor said that the only thing in this ring that’s “over” is The Judgment Day. That’s some insider term usage. Balor said this is old news. Styles said that it’s always been three of them against four of them with Styles talking about how they still haven’t found someone to take care of that Rhea problem. Styles said that someone found The OC. They showed somebody on the floor that sent Ripley into the ring post. It was Mia Yim back in WWE. Graves screamed about how it was Mia Yim. A brawl started from there with the guys while Yim hit Ripley in the back with kendo stick shots. Yim tossed Ripley over the barricade at ringside. Styles and Balor were left alone in the ring, Styles sent Balor into the ropes and Balor bailed to the floor. Anderson sent Balor into the ring apron. Dominik jumped off the ropes onto Styles, who caught him and Styles hit a Styles Clash on Dom. Yim went into the ring to pose with The OC while Yim was holding the kendo stick.
Analysis: Good for Mia coming back to WWE after being released last year after she was part of the failed Retribution group. Yim is a talented veteran who can certainly hold her own against Ripley, so it’s a good spot for Yim to have her teaming up with The OC guys. Yim’s husband Keith Lee works for AEW, so he won’t be back in WWE with her, but I’m happy to see Yim in WWE again where she should do pretty well. Now that Yim is there, we should see her facing Ripley at some point soon and they can do mixed tags between the groups as well.
Otis was shown training with Chad Gable for a match up next.
A commercial aired for the Smackdown World Cup, which is a tournament with eight stars competing for a shot at the Intercontinental Title. It’s also The Usos vs. The New Day for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles.
Seth Rollins was interviewed backstage by Cathy Kelley. Seth said that was none of his business, so he had to get out of there. Rollins said that he made a promise to the people, which means there will still be an open challenge later in the show. That’s the main event.
Elias vs. Otis (w/Chad Gable)
Otis used his size advantage to hit a shoulderblock on Elias. Otis blocked a body slam attempt leading to a headbutt. Elias tried a body slam again, but the big man Otis landed on top of him. Otis hit a running elbow drop while Gable shouted “that’s my guy” to support Otis. Elias avoided a charging Otis, who hit the turnbuckle and Elias hit a jumping knee. Elias hit another jumping knee to the head for a two count. Elias was on the top rope, Gable on the apron, so Elias hit a knee on him. Otis capitalized with a running attack to the back of Elias. Otis hit the World’s Strongest Slam for the pinfall win after about three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Otis
Analysis: *3/4 A rare singles match win for Otis, which is needed sometimes since Alpha Academy loses too much. Elias could use the win because he’s still being re-established, but I get why they booked it this way with Gable causing a distraction to help Otis win.
The Judgment Day was interviewed backstage by Byron Saxton. Balor said that The OC has discovered more problems. Priest said that The OC will fall to The Judgment Day and J-Day will always rise. Dom didn’t think they can deal with “mami” and Ripley said they can bring in Mia Yim or a whole army, but Ripley doesn’t care. As J-Day walked away, Ripley walked right up to Bianca Belair standing there with the Raw Women’s Title. Belair kept on walking for her segment up next.
Analysis: There’s a nice tease for a Belair-Ripley rivalry. I think that’s coming as we close out 2022 and maybe they set up the match for Royal Rumble 2023 or something like that. It makes sense because Ripley hasn’t had a title push as a heel on the main roster while Belair has likely moved past Bayley as a title contender with two straight title defenses.
Let’s Hear From Bianca Belair And Others
The Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair made her entrance with Asuka and Alexa Bliss, who are the former Women’s Tag Team Champions. A video was shown of Nikki Cross costing Asuka/Bliss the titles against Dakota Kai/IYO SKY at Crown Jewel. They also showed Belair beating Bayley in the Last Woman Standing Match. A video was shown of the women arguing in the parking lot earlier in the show, but officials were there to keep them apart.
Bianca Belair did a promo saying she was proud to be standing there as the Last Woman Standing and still the Raw Women’s Champion. Belair said this is far from going over with. Belair said that since Damage CTRL was acting so tough in the parking lot earlier, Belair wanted them to join them in the ring so Belair and friends can say it to their face.
Damage CTRL’s Bayley, Dakota Kai & IYO SKY made their entrance. Kai said that the way she sees it, Belair hasn’t beaten Bayley while Bayley has beaten Belair twice. It is true in the sense that Belair hasn’t pinned Bayley because a Ladder Match and Last Woman Standing are won without pinfall. Sky mentioned that they won the titles twice. Bliss said they had them the entire time and the only reason the new champions won the titles is because of Nikki Cross. Asuka ranted in Japanese so Sky responded to her. Asuka and Sky kept on yelling at eachother in Japanese with Asuka shouting more, so the crowd cheered. Sky: “Bitch!” That led to a brawl between the six women. The three faces stood tall in the ring while the heels were on the floor.
Belair continued the promo saying it’s not a fight anymore, it’s not a match, it’s war. Belair said that this is ending at WarGames (Survivor Series). Nikki Cross showed up from behind to attack Belair with a forearm to the back. It was a 4-on-3 situation with DC and Cross attacking the faces with Bayley hitting Belair with a Roseplant into the mat. Cross saved Bayley from Asuka with Cross punching Asuka repeatedly to keep her down. Cross hit a running splash on her for former friend Bliss. Asuka was sent into the turnbuckle. Cross hit a neckbreaker off the top rope on Bliss. Bayley said they will see them at WarGames.
Analysis: Later in the show it was confirmed that it’s Belair, Bliss and Asuka against Bayley, Sky, Kai and Cross in a 5-on-5 WarGames match. The speculation is that the faces will add the returning duo of Sasha Banks & Naomi while my guess on the heel side is Charlotte Flair, but I don’t know for sure. They could also insert some Smackdown women into the match like Raquel Rodriguez on the face side for example. I just think it’s a good spot to bring back Banks and Naomi assuming they are coming back. I don’t think Banks is back in the ring training for nothing. I think she’s doing it because she’s coming back to WWE. By the way, I did miss William Regal not being there to shout WarGames. That was the best.
The Money in the Bank briefcase holder Austin Theory made his entrance for a match followed by Shelton Benjamin. Big age difference here because Theory is 25 years old while Benjamin is 47 years old, but certainly can still go in the ring and move around like somebody much younger. There was a pre-tape segment shown with Benjamin talking about Theory getting beat up by Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley while Theory called him Mr. Irrelevant and Theory mocked Shelton for not beating anybody, so that led to a match.
Austin Theory vs. Shelton Benjamin
Benjamin tripped up Theory while Graves mentioned some of Benjamin’s credentials. Benjamin rocked Theory with a punch, then Theory hit a dropkick and the announcers talked about Benjamin’s history like being in OVW with Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton, Batista and John Cena. Theory and Benjamin exchanged strikes leading to Theory hitting a clothesline. Benjamin avoided a stomp, then Theory got a rollup and an Ankle Lock, but Theory kicked himself free. Benjamin hit a German Suplex for two. Benjamin with a jumping knee in the corner. Theory with a necksnap across the top rope. Theory up top, Benjamin went after him there, but Theory did an eye gouge and Theory hit the A-Town Down driving the head onto his knee for the pinfall win. It went three minutes. The announcers pointed out that the referee didn’t see the eye gouge.
Winner by pinfall: Austin Theory
Analysis: ** This was okay for a short match. It was a cold match with only a brief exchange backstage to set it up. Theory loses a lot, including last week against Seth Rollins, so it was a way to give him some momentum. The eye gouge by Theory was key to the win while Benjamin put up a fight until that happened.
The Miz was shown walking backstage for a match up next.
The Miz did a promo in the ring calling Johnny Gargano a whistle-blowing weasel. Miz said that without a shadow of a doubt that Gargano’s interview is completely false. Miz said he can’t stand the fact that he has to defend himself. Miz even claimed that his father believes Johnny. Yeah, George! Miz claims that he met with a producer that wants Miz to tell his story and Miz said he wants to build “Oscar buzz” with this film. Miz said he’ll move forward with a defamation suit. Miz talked about how his public relations team was going to give a formal response and here’s Johnny Gargano.
Johnny Gargano did a promo saying he’s always liked Miz dad calling him a very smart man. Gargano said he wanted to tell the truth about something he did, so Johnny blew the whistle (literally) on himself. Gargano talked about how he did something saying that the big Hollywood producer that Miz had dinner was actually a private investigator that also was wearing a hidden camera. Gargano said he brought a universal remote from home and it works on this tron.
A video aired showing Miz talking to a woman (who wasn’t shown) with Miz, who asked if they can speak at the table. The woman said Miz can trust her. Miz admitted that everything that Gargano was saying was true, and Miz said that he paid Dexter Lumis. Miz said everything was fine until he stopped paying Dexter and then Dexter went crazy, so Miz kiboshed everything. Gargano hit fast forward a bit. Miz said that Lumis should be thanking him because Lumis wasn’t doing anything three months ago. Miz had a furious look on his face while Gargano was happy about what he did.
Analysis: There’s the big reveal that Miz admitted that he did it, so Gargano’s claims from last week proved to be true. I like how this story has developed and it’s been fine for a TV feud. The story has been going on for several weeks, so it made sense for them to do a match between the two Cleveland guys.
Johnny Gargano vs. The Miz
The Miz charged, Gargano avoided it and Gargano chopped Miz a few times. Miz ran the ropes leading to Gargano hitting a dropkick. Gargano was on the apron where he kicked Miz in the arm and Gargano jumped off the apron onto Miz with a somersault dive. Graves was shouting his support for Miz while Graves chopped Miz a few times while on the floor. Gargano with a shoulder tackle, then he wrenched on the left arm and Gargano hit a dropkick. Gargano ran the ropes, Miz wanted a dropkick, Gargano held onto the ropes and Miz hit the mat. Gargano went for a move off the turnbuckle, but Miz kicked him in the body to knock Johnny down. Gargano off the ropes, Miz with a knee to the ribs and a running kick. Miz hit the corner clothesline. Miz jumped off the top, Gargano got the knee up to block an atomic drop and Gargano hit a rolling kick to the head. Gargano hit a neckbreaker for two. Gargano got a rollup. Miz countered a Gargano Escape attempt, Gargano kicked Miz out of the ring and Gargano hit a superkick to knock Miz off the apron to the floor. Gargano did a slingshot dive over the top onto Miz on the floor. Miz picked up Gargano and crotched him on the barricade. Miz kicked Gargano to knock him down.
Miz charged at Gargano in the ring, but Gargano moved and Gargano hit a backstabber (double knees) on Miz. Gargano fought back with lefty punches, then Gargano hit a cross body block and a forearm to the head. Gargano hit double knees in the corner followed by a flatliner off the ropes for two. Miz with a punch, then he charged and Gargano hit a slingshot Spear for a two count. That’s always a good spot for Gargano. Miz avoided a rolling kick leading to a DDT for two as usual for Miz with that move. Miz worked over Gargano with very safe kicks to the body, Gargano with an enziguri kick, then they exchanged kicks like superkicks and Gargano hit Miz with punches. Miz sent Gargano to the apron, Gargano tried a slingshot Spear again and Miz managed to hit a running knee for two. Miz shouted “massive balls” while Gargano countered an SCF with rollup pin sitting on top for two. Gargano hit a superkick for two. Miz left the ring, so Gargano hit a suicide dive sending Miz into the commentary table. Miz shoved Gargano back-first onto the commentary table. Gargano dropkicked Miz out of the ring and Miz was pulled under the ring or at least he acted like he was. Miz told the referee to look, so the referee looked under the ring while Miz grabbed a steel piece of the turnbuckle. Miz hit Gargano in the head with the steel object (using his hand for it) and Miz covered for the pinfall win after 16 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: The Miz
Analysis: ***1/4 This was pretty good since Gargano is always going to have an entertaining match while Miz is certainly capable as well. The action really picked up towards the end with some good nearfalls for both guys. The Miz found a way to cheat to get the win. I liked that it was done in a creative way and it fit the kind of guy that Miz is.
After the match, Dexter Lumis showed up and hit Miz in the back with a steel chair. That was payback for Lumis doing that to Miz in the past. Security chased after Lumis, so Lumis ran into the crowd and Lumis ran towards the back.
Nikki Cross was shown walking around with Damage CTRL with Dakota Kai, Bayley and IYO SKY to destroy Dana Brooke. Bayley told Cross she didn’t have to wait until WarGames, she should let it all out tonight. Cross laughed maniacally: “Time to play.” Cross left.
Nikki Cross made her entrance with Damage CTRL joining her at ringside for this match. Dana Brooke entered as the 24/7 Champion aka the title that WWE has ignored over the last few months. Dana got almost no reaction from this quiet crowd.
24/7 Championship: Dana Brooke vs. Nikki Cross (w/Bayley, Dakota Kai & IYO SKY)
Bayley joined commentary. Cross hit a running cross body block followed by punches. Cross stomped on Brooke in the corner. Cross pulled back on the arms of Brooke in a submission move. Cross ran into an elbow by Brooke, then an elbow smash by Brooke and Brooke stomped on Cross in the corner. Cross did a hair pull takedown. Cross slammed Brooke’s head into the mat repeatedly along with some choking by the ropes. Cross lifted up Brooke to the rope and Cross hit her neckbreaker slam for the pinfall win. Graves joked that he didn’t have anything to say about Brooke to get her all riled up on the internet.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW 24/7 Champion: Nikki Cross
Analysis: 3/4* It was a simple squash match to put over Cross. The crowd was dead for it.
Nikki Cross walked away with the 24/7 Title on her shoulder and Damage CTRL walking behind her.
The Seth Rollins US Title Open Challenge was next.
Nikki Cross was shown walking backstage with the 24/7 Title and Damage CTRL was with her. Cross walked by a garbage can and dropped the title on the floor. I think she meant to put it in the garbage can! Oops. Bayley just kind of looked at it and kept walking. Cross was looking up instead of forward as they kept walking.
Analysis: I think that’s the end of the 24/7 Title, which is certainly fine with me. Cross was probably supposed to put it in the trash can instead of on the floor, but it’s the thought of “trashing” the title that matters.
The OC with their new friend Mia Yim was interviewed by Byron Saxton. The three guys talked about how tough Mia is. Yim said that was a sample of what she can do and we’ll see how tough Ripley is when she has to deal with somebody that can hit her back. Luke Gallows said Karl Anderson is paying for the drinks, Yim said that the drinks are on her and Styles warned her that those two guys had a high tolerance.
Let’s Hear from Seth Rollins…Again
Seth “Freakin” Rollins made his entrance as the United States Champion for the second time with the fans singing along with the song as usual. This was in the main event slot for this week.
Rollins did a promo saying he intended to keep his promise about doing an open challenge tonight on Raw. Rollins mentioned that this month is ten years since he started in WWE (on the main roster – it was Survivor Series 2012), so the fans cheered and also sang the Rollins song. Rollins talked about how the fans have been with him through it all – the wins, the losses and all the championships. The fans chanted “Thank You Rollins” for him. Rollins said this US Title means a lot to him because it had been far too long since he had a title and since he won it, he has made this “the title” to have on Raw.
Rollins asked the crowd if they were ready for an open challenge and the fans cheered. Rollins called somebody to come out there and said they should be ready for a fight while Rollins shouted his catchphrases while the fans chanted “Seth Freakin Rollins” on cue.
Mustafa Ali appeared on the screen saying he’s going to be the one to accept the challenge. Somebody pulled Ali off-screen and beat him up. It was Bobby Lashley saying that he lost the US Title because of Brock Lesnar and Bobby made him pay at Crown Jewel while Rollins is the other reason he doesn’t have the title. Ali tried to fight back, but Lashley grabbed him and threw him down. Lashley said he accepted Seth’s challenge.
Analysis: It was the tease of a big match with Rollins facing Lashley again in the main event.
They showed highlights of Crown Jewel when Bobby Lashley beat up Brock Lesnar a lot in their match, but Lesnar found a way to win by countering the Hurt Luck into a pinning predicament to give Lesnar the win. After the match, Lashley gave Lesnar the Hurt Lock submission again.
The “All Mighty” Bobby Lashley made his entrance as the guy to answer the US Title open challenge. Lashley lost the US Title to Rollins four weeks earlier.
Lashley attacked Rollins before the bell rang with Bobby knocking Seth out of the ring. Lashley sent Rollins into the barricade two times. Lashley drove Seth’s back into the barricade three times in a row followed by a whip into the barricade. Lashley sent Rollins into the ring, but Rollins left the ring again. Lashley charged right into a superkick by Rollins on the floor. Rollins whipped Lashley into the steel steps at ringside. Lashley hit a back body drop on the floor followed by Lashley punching Rollins repeatedly on the floor. Referees and security went down to ringside to try to stop Lashley. Rollins charged, but Lashley caught him with a flatliner. Lashley picked up Rollins on his shoulders and Lashley drove Rollins into the ring post. Lashley cleared off the commentary table and he gave Rollins a huge spinebuster through the table. More referees and backstage officials showed up to make Lashley go to the back. Lashley mocked the Rollins song with his hands.
While Lashley was walking to the back, Austin Theory showed up with the Money in the Bank briefcase contract in his hand. They went to break there.
Analysis: This is the best version of Bobby Lashley. I liked him as a babyface US Champion, but he has been as good as ever since losing the title. I hope this means Bobby is back in a heel role and if they reunited The Hurt Business group somehow that would work just fine with me too. I know Lashley talked about it recently, so maybe it’s going to happen since Lashley “guaranteed Hurt Business reunion” in a story we had up a few days ago. I feel like this was Lashley officially going back to heel mode while Rollins will probably be a face since he was doing more of a babyface thing last week too and it continued this week as well. Seth sold the beating so well, but it’s also because Lashley is so convincing.
The show continued with Rollins still down at ringside while Theory was standing by with the Money in the Bank briefcase. There were about six minutes left in the show. Theory handed the Money in the Bank briefcase to referee Chad Patton and said he wanted to cash it in. Patton told the ring announcer, Mike Rome announced it and it the bell rang as Rollins was placed back into the ring.
Analysis: This is the first time somebody has cashed in Money in the Bank on a men’s title that is not considered a World Title like the WWE Title, the old World Heavyweight Title or the Universal Title. It makes Theory look foolish for trying to cash in on a secondary title like the US Title.
United States Championship: Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. Austin Theory
Theory hit an elbow strike to the head for just a two count. Theory hit a cradle suplex into the knee for another two counts. Theory went for a move off the shoulders, but Rollins landed on his feet and Theory managed to hit a Pedigree for a two count. Rollins elbowed his way out of a move, Theory charged, Rollins avoided it and Rollins sent Theory over the top to the floor. Theory tried a rolling dropkick, but Rollins caught him and hit a Powerbomb. Rollins with a superkick, then a forearm shot and a forearm to the back to knock Theory down. Rollins was selling a back injury, then he charged and Theory caught him. Theory hit the A-Town Down finishing move for one…two…and Bobby Lashley pulled the referee out during the pin attempt. Theory called Lashley an idiot for running it, so Lashley pulled Theory out of the ring and Lashley sent Theory into the barricade. Lashley put Theory on his shoulders leading to Lashley running Theory into the ring post. Lashley sent Theory into the barricade and another run into the ring post. Lashley gave Theory the Hurt Lock submission on the floor while the referee was still down at ringside. Lashley left through the crowd. The referee crawled back into the ring while we are left to believe that the referee didn’t hear any of that Lashley attack on Theory. The referee Chad Patton counted Theory down, then Theory crawled back under the bottom rope and back into the ring. Rollins was waiting with The Stomp on Theory leading to Rollins getting the pinfall win on Theory for the win after five minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Seth “Freakin” Rollins
Analysis: **1/4 It was a different kind of match since it was more about the storyline with Lashley causing Theory to lose because Lashley wants to be the one to win the US Title. Rollins surviving is another way to show that he is moving into the babyface role because he put up a fight and found a way to win, but it was obviously cheap since Lashley pulled the referee out after Theory hit his finisher. It was booked well in terms of providing us with some excitement.
Seth “Freakin” Rollins was handed the US Title because he won the match and the fans were singing the song again. Graves shouted: “Sing along, let him hear you…Seth Freakin’ Rollins…you earned this.” End show.
Analysis: The failed Money in the Bank attempt cash in felt like Triple H’s way of saying I didn’t put the briefcase on that guy. Theory is 25 years old so he’ll be just fine. It was obviously a cheap loss since Lashley stopped the count and then he cost Theory the match. I just think the idea of trying to cash in on the US Title instead of a major title makes Theory looks dumber than most wrestlers since every other guy for 16 years has cashed in the major titles.
Three Stars of the Show
- The Usos & Solo Sikoa
- Seth “Freakin” Rollins
- (tie) Johnny Gargano/The New Day & Matt Riddle
7.25 out of 10
Last week: 7
It was an entertaining show overall. Some good storyline movement to set up the Women’s WarGames match while the Seth Rollins-Bobby Lashley-Austin Theory situation provided some excitement in the main event. I’m sure some fans will think Theory is “buried” because he didn’t cash in Money in the Bank. I think the worse thing is that Theory tried to cash in on the US Title instead of the WWE/Universal Title, so that makes him look a bit foolish. Theory was screwed out of the win by Lashley, who appears to be back in heel mode while Rollins is probably a face now. I think Theory will be fine, but obviously, Triple H wasn’t the one that booked Theory to win MITB (Vince McMahon did that), so it was a way to end Theory’s run as Mr. MITB at the hands of Lashley and Rollins. It does make Theory look bad for now, but he’s 25 and has a bright future. I don’t think Theory is buried at all although I am critical of doing a cash in on a midcard title.
I liked the promo from The Usos & The New Day leading to a great six-man tag that saw Solo Sikoa continue his dominance by pinning Matt Riddle. They did a nice job of building to The Usos/New Day Tag Team Title match on Smackdown while also having the best match on the show. I also enjoyed the Johnny Gargano match against The Miz while Dexter Lumis got some revenge on Miz as well. That story has been unique too.
Good to see Mia Yim back in WWE joining The OC guys in the fight against The Judgment Day because that’s some logical storyline progression. I think they could have announced the Women’s WarGames match in a better way by having an authority figure do it instead of Bianca Belair, but maybe I just miss William Regal doing it in NXT.
Lastly, I don’t think it was a great crowd. It’s weird that they go to small cities like Wilkes-Barre, PA for Raw. They should go to bigger cities and the fans will probably be better. At least they liked the Rollins song.
The next WWE Premium Live Event is Survivor Series on November 26th.
* Women’s WarGames Match: Bayley, IYO SKY, Dakota Kai, Nikki Cross & one more partner vs. Bianca Belair, Asuka, Alexa Bliss & two more partners.
More to come in the weeks ahead.
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