This the post-Survivor Series edition of Monday Night Raw as the road to TLC begins now. In case you missed my in-depth Survivor Series review, you can check that out here. In addition to that, I wrote a 10 Takeaways about Survivor Series for The Comeback with more of my insight on the show. In short, I thought it was a pretty good show that exceeded my expectations for it. I enjoyed it although plenty of things could have been better too.
That’s not all from this weekend. On Saturday, I also reviewed NXT Takeover WarGames, which was an outstanding show that I rated 9.5 out of 10. It was one of the best WWE shows of the year. It’s incredible how many great matches there were on that show.
(Note: This is a re-post of the WWE Raw Deal review because we moved hosting companies this week and the original post was on the old server. If you commented via Disqus on that original post, it is gone now. The site was only down for about 12 hours.)
Live from Los Angeles, California (for the third night in a row), this is the Raw Deal for episode #1329 of Monday Night Raw. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. If you want to support us at TJRWrestling, here’s a Donate Link for our Paypal to contribute in some way to help us grow the site. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner up top.
Let’s Hear From Baron Corbin
The show began with Raw’s acting General Manager Baron Corbin standing in the ring as the crowd booed him. Corbin welcomed us to the undisputed “A” show, Monday Night Raw. Corbin talked about how there was a visionary that orchestrated the clean sweep of Smackdown at Survivor Series and he introduced Raw’s Commissioner Stephanie McMahon.
Analysis: Raw won every match at Survivor Series except for the Kickoff Show tag team match, which WWE has chosen to ignore.
Stephanie made her entrance. Corey Graves mentioned Smackdown won the Kickoff Show match and Michael Cole said that’s true. Stephanie said that “it was a clean sweep and Smackdown didn’t beat us once” because I guess heels lie. Stephanie congratulated Corbin on a great night. Stephanie said that every superstar on the Raw roster…Raw family…helped Raw win. Stephanie said that they proved that they are the best. Stephanie claimed that they are going to celebrate.
Corbin said that if they won last night, she would consider making his position a little more permanent. Stephanie said that she did make some promises…and here comes Braun Strowman.
Braun Strowman entered to a big ovation from the crowd as Strowman walked down to the ring with a purpose. Strowman got into the ring with them.
Strowman said that last night at Survivor Series, he held up his end of the bargain and now Stephanie has to hold up her end of the bargain. Strowman said that he wants a match with this slimeball Corbin. Stephanie said that she gave her word, so she said at TLC, Strowman will face Corbin. Stephanie told Corbin that if he beats Strowman then he can be the full-time GM of Raw, but if he loses then he can lose all privileges. Strowman said that he gets to pick the stipulation. Stephanie said that she had to work it out with the attorneys. Stephanie told Strowman that he’ll get his Universal Championship match against Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble only if he can beat Corbin at TLC. Stephanie thinks this is a good deal for Strowman and asked if this is agreeable to terms. The fans chanted “Get These Hands” for Strowman.
Strowman said “Welcome to Monday Night Braun” and he told Corbin to enjoy his time as the acting GM while it lasts. Strowman said that at TLC, they are going to have the TLC match. Strowman said that he’s not only going to get these hands, he’s going to get the tables, ladders and chairs. Corbin said that’s a terrible idea. Corbin claimed that match favors him. Corbin said that he’s going to leave Strowman in a pile of twisted steel. Corbin reminded Strowman that he’s still in charge and he told Strowman he’s against Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre and a handicap match. Stephanie thinks it should be a six-man tag team match against Braun Strowman, Elias and Finn Balor. Stephanie said that match begins right now.
Analysis: They did a good job of hitting the key points by mentioning the match at TLC, then the plan for the Royal Rumble if Strowman wins and all of it sounds fine to me. Strowman vs. Corbin is a big match in Vince McMahon’s eyes since they are two tall guys. We know Vince loves the big dudes. Strowman vs. Lesnar at the Royal Rumble would take Strowman out of the Rumble assuming they still go ahead with the title match. There could be a way that Corbin wins at TLC in some cheap way. Anyway, that should be a win for Strowman and I would be surprised if he lost that match. The reason they give big matches away early is that the first hour usually has the most viewers.
Bobby Lashley made his entrance along with the hype man Lio Rush. Drew McIntyre entered on his own without his buddy Dolph Ziggler.
Finn Balor made his entrance to a big ovation. Balor shook Stephanie’s hand at ringside as Cole pointed out that Stephanie was in a great mood, so maybe he should ask for a raise. That was mildly funny by Cole. Shocking. That led to a break.
Elias did not get a televised entrance. He’s on the apron as the match began.
Elimination Match: Braun Strowman, Finn Balor and Elias vs. Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley (w/Lio Rush)
This is an elimination match as noted in bold up there. The heels were in control as they worked over Balor. Lashley hit a running shoulder tackle on Balor against the turnbuckle. Lashley slammed Balor down and brought in Corbin. Balor fought out of the heel corner, but Corbin drove Balor into the turnbuckle followed by the Deep Six slam for a two count. Lashley back in with a kick to Balor’s ribs. Lashley with a hard whip that sent Balor into the turnbuckle. Balor got a rollup for two and Lashley came back with a clothesline on Balor for two. Balor came back with a low dropkick. Elias tagged in with a clothesline on Lashley, a corner clothesline and kicks against the turnbuckle. Elias with a mule kick to knock down Lashley and he sent Corbin out of the ring. Lashley attacked Elias with a forearm to the back, Elias boot to the face, Balor tagged in and a double team clothesline sent Lashley out of the ring. Balor ran the ropes and hit a somersault dive over the top to take out Lashley and Corbin. Balor up top, McIntyre tripped up Balor to crotch him on the top and McIntyre tagged in. McIntyre with a Claymore Kick on Balor to eliminate him.
Finn Balor eliminated by Drew McIntyre
The match returned with Elias getting worked on by the heels. If Strowman is so dominant, why would he never choose to work the match? I know it’s not a question that will be answered. McIntyre took down Elias with an armbar. Elias fought back with a kick and McIntyre hit a clothesline to knock him down. The crowd was dead for most of this match as McIntyre tossed Elias across the ring. Lashley tagged in with a belly to belly suplex on Elias across the ring. Corbin tagged in to work over Elias a bit with a hard whip into the turnbuckle. Corbin slapped on a headlock while Lashley and McIntyre attacked Strowman on the apron. Elias broke free with a knee to the face of Corbin. Elias went up top and he jumped off with an elbow drop on Corbin for two as Lashley made the save. Lashley dumped Elias out of the ring. Elias grabbed a hold of Rush, so Lashley hit a Spear on Elias on the floor. Elias was counted out by the referee, so he’s out of the match.
Elias eliminated by countout
That means Strowman is alone for his team.
The heels were in control with McIntyre working over Strowman with punches. Corbin worked over Strowman a bit as well with a headlock. Strowman got back into it with shoulder tackles on Corbin and the others followed by a punch to Corbin’s chest. Strowman left the ring with a running shoulder tackle on Lashley on the floor. Back in the ring, Strowman caught Corbin and hit a Powerslam with McIntyre hitting Strowman in the back with a steel chair.
Drew McIntyre eliminated by disqualification
The heels attacked with the chair, so the match was thrown out that point. Let’s call it a No Contest.
Match Result: No Contest
Analysis: *3/4 It was the most basic tag team match that you’re ever going to see. There wasn’t much to it in terms of excitement. Balor got his ass kicked, then eliminated easily and the same for Elias. It was building for the big Strowman comeback that did not happen due to the heels attacking.
The attack on Strowman continued with McIntyre hitting Strowman in the ribs and the back with a steel chair. Lashley hit a Spear on Strowman on the floor. Lashley and McIntyre whipped Strowman into the steel steps. Corbin trash talked Strowman, who grabbed Corbin around the neck and McIntyre hit a running Claymore Kick to put Strowman down. The heels picked up Strowman and whipped him into the steel steps again. McIntyre hit Strowman in the back with a steel chair followed by a chair to the ribs. Corbin took his belt off, Lashley put the belt around Strowman’s hand that they put against the steps and Corbin drove the top half of the steps into the right hand of Strowman. That led to Strowman screaming and writhing in pain while referees finally went down to ringside to try to stop it. Strowman’s elbow was also bleeding from the attack. Strowman was rolling around in pain as the replays aired of what happened.
Strowman was down at ringside grabbing his right arm to sell the attack. The heel group of Corbin, McIntyre, Lashley and Rush celebrated at the top of the ramp. Strowman said, “I cannot feel my fingers right now.”
The announce team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Renee Young were shown on camera using SERIOUS VOICES~! to talk about what happened to Strowman.
Strowman managed to walk away on his own while holding his right arm with his left arm. He stumbled away while refusing help, which is typically what faces do.
Analysis: It’s an injury angle to try to weaken the Monster Among Men with three big heels in Corbin, McIntyre and Lashley working him over with the weapons around ringside. I assume this is done to give Strowman some worked injuries to try to weaken him before the TLC Match with Corbin. That evens the playing field a bit. It was also mentioned by Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio that Strowman needs elbow surgery to remove bone chips that have been bothering him, so he’ll be out a few weeks. According to PWInsider, it is considered a minor issue for Strowman, so WWE likely thinks he’ll be fine for TLC.
A clip aired of Dean Ambrose from last week talking about how The Shield made him weak, so he tossed The Shield jacket into a trash can that was on fire. Seth Rollins is next.
PLUG TIME: Check out our WWF in 2000 section only on TJRWrestling with weekly recaps of every Raw and Smackdown from the WWF in 2000, which was my favorite year in WWE history.
There was a graphic letting us know that Survivor Series was the most social show on television on Sunday.
Let’s Hear From Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins, the Intercontinental Champion that was victorious at Survivor Series, made his entrance to a big ovation with the crowd chanting “BURN IT DOWN” during his song right on cue. Rollins entered the ring for a promo. Rollins gave a shoutout to the LA crowd for being so great over the weekend at Takeover and Survivor Series. Crowds love it when people suck up to them.
Rollins said that last night was six years to the day that The Shield made its debut in WWE. Rollins talked about how for the better part of those six years, The Shield ran this place. I guess they did except when they were apart. Rollins said that reflecting on six years makes it difficult to accept what Dean Ambrose did. Rollins said that Ambrose hasn’t faced him like a man, but at TLC he doesn’t have a choice because Dean has to face Rollins one on one for the IC Title. Rollins talked about how Ambrose lit The Shield vest on fire while adding that Ambrose claimed he was the same guy he has been the entire time. Rollins said that he learned more from watching the Chronicle of Ambrose on WWE Network than he knew about him during the entire time that they were best friends. Rollins said that he didn’t know Ambrose was in the hospital with an infection in his arm that almost killed him because Ambrose didn’t pick up the phone when Seth called him. Rollins claimed that Ambrose never called him back when Ambrose was injured. Rollins noted that Ambrose said he loves WWE while Rollins pointed out that he has known Ambrose for ten years and it was the first time he’s ever heard Ambrose say the word “love.” I don’t say love much either, but I love sleep and naps. I guess that’s off topic.
Rollins talked about how for the last four weeks, all Ambrose has been doing is hiding and talking. Rollins said that they’ll have their match at TLC, but that’s still a few weeks away. Rollins talked about how he feels highly aggressive right now. Rollins told Ambrose to come down to the ring because Rollins is looking for a fight.
Ambrose appeared on the video wall in some other part of the building. Ambrose said that Rollins looked desperate, but Ambrose is not going to give him what he wants. Ambrose said that over the past six years, The Shield did more harm than good. Ambrose talked about how nobody knows what kind of people they were behind the scenes while adding that they were rotten to the core. Ambrose said what goes around, comes back around. Ambrose said that they are all going to get what they deserve. Ambrose said that for what Roman did in The Shield, he has to answer to the man upstairs. The fans booed. Ambrose said what’s worse is Rollins has to answer to Ambrose. There was a shot of Ambrose backstage and he told Rollins to come find him to find out what happens next. Rollins left the ring and ran up the ramp to make his way backstage.
The announcers took over with Cole asking Dean’s wife Renee about it. Renee said she didn’t like what Dean was doing, but she understands because he spent all that time rehabbing from his injury and he had a lot of time to think about things. It’s so awkward when she has to talk about this story. What’s she gonna say? It’s a tough spot.
Rollins was shown backstage looking for Ambrose. Rollins asked security guys where Ambrose was, one guy told Rollins to get out of his face, so Rollins decked him with a punch. Poor indy worker. Rollins left calling out for Ambrose. Renee talked about how Ambrose is more cerebral than people think. Graves tried to press her for more info, but she said she only knows what she has told us.
Analysis: The mind games form Ambrose continue. The line about Reigns is going to piss people off and it should because Reigns is going through a lot in dealing with leukemia. I’d rather not see somebody mention Reigns’ real life health situation, but in WWE, they always do things to get heat. People die and they use it to get heat whether it’s Paul Bearer five years ago, Jim Neidhart recently or anybody. I thought Seth’s promo was pretty good. They are building up to a future confrontation and since this is a three hour show, there is plenty of time to do something later in the evening. I like that they are being kept apart instead of being put in tag team matches. Make people wait for the match. A booking problem WWE does too often is they put guys in tag team matches and it takes away from the singles match on PPV. By doing it this way, it builds up anticipation more.
Still to come: Ronda Rousey is there. Natalya faces Ruby Riott.
The team of Sasha Banks and Bayley made their entrance for a tag team match.
A video aired about Lars Sullivan getting the call up from NXT and it said he is debuting on Raw soon. Sullivan’s a big dude that looks like a badass. He’s not that tall, but he looks tough.
The lovely Alexa Bliss joined the announce team for this match as Graves introduced her as the captain of Team Raw’s successful women’s team at Survivor Series.
Tamina was up next. Nia Jax was booed heavily due to her punch that broke Becky Lynch’s face last week on Raw. Cole put over her #Facebreaker nickname I guess if you want to call it a nickname. Images were shown of Jax winning for Team Raw at Survivor Series.
Analysis: Breaking faces is not like most girls. Just saying.
Nia Jax and Tamina vs. Sasha Banks and Bayley
The crowd was chanting for Becky as Banks worked over Jax with dropkicks. Bliss said that she didn’t like Sasha and Bayley. When Bayley tagged in, Jax shoved her down. Tamina tagged in and she whipped Bayley into the turnbuckle. Bayley drove Tamina to the corner with shoulder tackles. Banks back in with a dropkick to the knee of Tamina, Bayley back in with an elbow and Banks went over the top with a double knee to Tamina’s chest. Jax in the ring, so they tossed her out of the ring.
The match returned with Jax putting Bayley in a headlock as Graves put over Bliss as a great leader. Banks tagged in as she sent Jax down face first followed by a running knee and Jax did a power kickout on the pin to send Banks out of the ring. Tamina with a cheap shot clothesline on the floor. Bliss said that she’s cool with Nia now as Tamina grabbed a headlock on Banks. Banks made a comeback with a double knees attack on Tamina and Bayley got the hot tag. Bayley knocked Jax off the apron leading to Tamina hitting a superkick. That looked good. Bayley came back with two neckbreakers using the middle ropes for an assist. Bayley with a running knee to the face of Tamina. Bayley up top, she jumped off with a cross body block and covered Tamina for a two count. Jax got a cheap shot on Bayley from behind followed by a punch to the face. That drew boos from the crowd. Jax tagged back in with a running body attack on Bayley for a two count because Banks made the save. Bayley with a boot to the face, Jax whipped Bayley into the ropes and Jax hit a Samoan Drop for the pinfall win at around 11 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Nia Jax and Tamina
Analysis: *3/4 It was a decent match that was boring most of the time, which is not a surprise since it was a match with Jax and Tamina. They aren’t that much fun to watch. At least WWE is doing a good job of putting over Jax going into her future Raw Women’s Title shot at Rousey. Banks and Bayley don’t have any momentum. They are two of the worst booked talents on Raw this year considering how they were utilized in the last couple of years.
Charly Caruso was backstage trying to do an interview. Dean Ambrose was shown on the TV behind her saying that she should find Seth Rollins and tell him Ambrose is waiting for him in the spot where The Shield used to call home. Ambrose was in some hallway and went out a door.
There was a shot of Rollins walking down a hallway and kicking open stairwell door. There was nobody there, but it said “Burn it Down” on the door, so Rollins was frustrated.
Images aired of Drake Maverick pissing himself during the tag team match. I’m sure Vince McMahon thought it was hilarious.
There was a shot of people in catering with a guy asking Drake Maverick if he tried the peas. Heath Slater said that his kids don’t do it anymore and Rhyno suggested adult diapers. Maverick asked if there was something. Chad Gable told him not to get “pissed” about it. Everybody around them laughed right on cue. Bobby Roode joined in to laugh at him. Drake told them that “you are in trouble now” so they laughed at him because it sounded like he said “urine” so everybody laughed in an over the top way. Maverick left while everybody laughed at him.
Analysis: That’s the comedy that Vince McMahon loves and thinks that everybody enjoys it. That was very cheesy and lame.
The Lucha House Party trio made their entrance with pinatas in their hands. Yes WWE, we are know they are Spanish. They don’t need to carry pinatas to the ring to emphasize that. At least they are not riding lawnmowers like the Mexicools…yet.
The Revival made their entrance. These guys could be used so much better. The match is Lucha House Rules meaning all three Lucha House Party guys can compete. That’s weird.
Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik, Kalisto and Lince Dorado) vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder)
Kalisto hit a rolling kick on Wilder. Kalisto with a splash, Dorado with a splash and Metalik with a springboard dropkick on Wilder. Kalisto got a two count on Wilder. Dawson tagged in and pulled down Kalisto by grabbing his leg. Dawson picked up Kalisto leading to Kalisto falling on top for a two count. Wilder got a pinata from ringside and tossed it out of the ring. Dorado tagged in with a cross body block on Dawson and a moonsault on Wilder. Dorado with a headscissors takedown on Wilder. Dorado up top, but Wilder hit him with a punch. Metalik up top, he threw a pinata out of the ring and Wilder got kicked. Dorado up top with a Shooting Star Press for the pinfall win on Dawson at around three minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Lucha House Party
Analysis: *1/2 A short match with decent action until the Revival lost because of a f’n pinata distraction! So dumb. The crowd barely reacted to anything because they know the tag team division on Raw is shit right now and has been for most of the year. It makes no sense for the heel GM Corbin to allow a 3 on 2 handicap match in favor of the face team, yet it’s not like WWE tries to explain it other than saying those are the Lucha House Rules that they made up.
There were images shown from the great Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair match at Survivor Series that saw Charlotte lose by DQ and attack Rousey after the match using weapons like a kendo stick and steel chair. Ronda Rousey is up next.
The announcers talked about how you can go to SupportLAFD.com to support people affected by the fires in California in the last month.
Seth Rollins was shown walking backstage with Charly Caruso showing up to interview him. Rollins said that what Ambrose said about Reigns was going too far. While Rollins said that, Ambrose was shown walking in the background and down some hallway while Rollins didn’t notice him. Rollins said that when he gets his hands on Ambrose, he will be asking himself why he turned his back on them. Titus O’Neil showed up to tell Seth that Dean was just there, so Seth ran off to look for him.
Analysis: Seth addressing Dean talking trash about Roman shows that WWE wanted to focus on what Dean said. Meanwhile, the Rollins search for Ambrose continues.
Let’s Hear From Ronda Rousey
Ronda Rousey, the Raw Women’s Champion, made her entrance with a smile on her face. They showed some welts on her leg as she walked down to the ring with the title on her shoulder. The crowd gave her a big ovation.
Rousey soaked in the reaction from the crowd that gave her a mix of cheers and chanted “We Want Becky” at her. Rousey said that at TLC, she’ll defend her title against Nia Jax. Rousey talked about how she’s aware of how dangerous Nia Jax and reminded us of what she did to Becky’s face. Rousey said that at TLC, she’s going to tap out Nia Jax and after she’s done with her, the next chapter of Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair is going to be written. Rousey said somehow, somewhere, she’s going to find Charlotte Flair and finish what they started last night. Rousey made her angry faces.
Rousey said that she didn’t come there to hit her poses, try to get sympathy and talk about fighting. Rousey said that she came there to show us what a true champion is. Rousey noted that a true champion can’t pick the most opportune time to fight because that’s a contender’s luxury. Rousey said that a true champion stands on top of the mountain and must fight even on your worst day. If you can’t stay on top, then you step aside. The fans chanted for her with some fans chanting “Becky” at her as well. Rousey took off her jacket. Rousey said that this is her on her worst day and she refuses to step aside. Rousey said to send somebody out there to fight her because if she can’t defend the title tonight then she doesn’t deserve to be champion.
Here comes acting Raw GM Baron Corbin, who stood on the apron to talk to Rousey instead of going in the ring with her. Corbin said her request to defend the title right here has been denied. Corbin said that as acting GM and soon to be permanent GM, he can’t allow her to compete tonight. Rousey said that she has had 17 fights, she never pulled out of one, she never postponed one and she had plenty of reason to, but she never did. Rousey said she never did because that’s what it takes to be the baddest bitch on the planet. Rousey told him to find her a challenger for her title. Rousey said that maybe Corbin wants a shot at the champ, which led to “Yes” chants from the crowd. Corbin said best of luck to her and he’ll find an opponent since she is so adamant to defend her title. Corbin said that woman would be the next Raw Women’s Champion and he left.
Analysis: That was a good promo from Rousey showing that she’s a fighting champion. By letting Rouse say words like “bitch” in the promo it separates her from the others in the show because most people don’t get to use a word like that. It makes Ronda stand out, which helps her since she is pushed like one of the biggest stars of the show.
Rousey was waiting in the ring for an opponent. It was Mickie James, who is a six-time Women’ Champion. There was a funny moment where James threw her jacket at Rousey, then Rousey threw the jacket back. Rousey was officially announced as the “baddest woman on the planet” during the intros.
Raw Women’s Championship: Ronda Rousey vs. Mickie James
The match began with Rousey attacking with punches against the turnbuckle. James took control with a kick to the head. Rousey had visible scars on her arms and legs from the attack from Charlotte Flair on Sunday. James stayed on the attack with kicks to keep Rousey down. James hit a knee that caught Rousey in the face as James took Rousey down with a headlock. Rousey got back with three arm drags in a row. Rousey picked up James and hit her Piper’s Pit slam off the shoulders three times in a row. Rousey slapped on the armbar on the left arm of James and James tapped out to give Rousey the submission win after three minutes.
Winner by submission: Ronda Rousey
Analysis: *1/2 It was okay while it lasted with James in control for a minute followed by Rousey making the predictable comeback. I think this was done to give Rousey some positive momentum after that Charlotte Flair attack on Sunday. By having Rousey want to defend the title and win the match impressive fashion, it puts Rousey as the kind of fighting champion that WWE wants for their babyface wrestlers.
When Rousey got to the stage, Nia Jax and Tamina were there. Jax just looked at right, showed her fist as if making a threat and left. Rousey just stared at them.
Analysis: I don’t expect Rousey to lose to Jax at TLC, but it should be a competitive match.
A video package aired showing Brock Lesnar’s victory over Daniel Bryan at Survivor Series. The story of the match was that Lesnar could have won after about eight minutes of dominance, but he picked Bryan up. That gave Bryan new life leading to Bryan getting a low blow kick and a running knee that almost won Bryan the match. Bryan continued to put up a fight, but Lesnar managed to win after about 20 minutes. I thought it was the best match at Survivor Series. After the match, Daniel Bryan had a creepy smile on his face as if he liked it. Lesnar stood tall as the winner.
Bobby Roode and Chad Gable made their entrance for a tag team match.
It was announced that Chicago will host Survivor Series weekend next year. We covered that story earlier on Monday right here.
A clip aired of the movie about Paige’s life called Fighting With My Family produced by WWE and The Rock. You can check out the trailer here if you haven’t seen it. The movie is out in February, so expect WWE to plug it a lot before then.
AOP, the Raw Tag Team Champions, entered with Drake Maverick, who is thankfully wearing black pants this time. The announcers plugged Starrcade as a one hour special event on Sunday at 8pmET on WWE Network. I don’t know why it’s only one hour, but that’s what they are doing.
AOP (Akam and Rezar) w/Drake Maverick vs. Chad Gable and Bobby Roode
This is not for the Raw Tag Team Titles. Rezar worked over Gable by putting him on his shoulder in a submission move. When Gable broke free, Rezar hit a massive spinebuster. Gable managed to break free as the fans chanted “A-O-pee-pee” at Maverick, so that’s clever. Roode tagged in with a shoulder tackle to Rezar, he punched Akam off the apron and Roode hit a kick to the chest. Roode kicked Akam to the floor. Roode with a running forearm on Rezar for a two count. Roode with a back elbow on Akam and sent Rezar into the ring post. Roode with a Blockbuster on Akam. Gable got the tag and jumped off the top with a sunset flip into a pin on Akam for the pinfall win after around four minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Chad Gable and Bobby Roode
Analysis: ** There was good action in the match with Gable and Roode finding a way to win. It’s classic WWE booking to set up a title match between the teams by having champs lose non-title. I don’t expect AOP to drop the titles to these guys.
Dean Ambrose was shown in some darkened part of the arena. Ambrose said it’s been fun watching Rollins run around the building like a lunatic. Ambrose said that this isn’t about Roman, this is about the bond between brothers that is broken, crushed and shattered. Ambrose said that he will break Rollins, crush him, shatter his bones and he asked what that smell is. Ambrose said that is a horrible stench while wondering if it was the smell of Seth’s fear, the smell of Los Angeles (fans booed that cheap heat) and Ambrose said that’s coming from the fans. Ambrose said that rest assured, there is no explanation or apology. Ambrose said he’s just going to burn it down.
Analysis: Good promo from Ambrose. He ripped on the crowd this time, which he hasn’t done in the past, but it’s the easy way to get cheap heat from the crowd.
Natalya faces Ruby Riott up next.
Seth Rollins was shown leaving the arena. Kayla Braxton asked why he is leaving. Rollins said that he had a red-eye flight to catch and he can’t seem to find Ambrose. Rollins said that stupid bandana isn’t going to save Ambrose when Seth stomps his face into the ground.
Natalya entered first as she put her cat ears on a fan at ringside. There was a clip of Ruby Riott breaking the sunglasses of Natalya’s late father Jim Neidhart. Last week Natalya attacked Riott, but she got beat up by all three members of the Riott Squad with nobody saving Natalya. The Riott Squad was up next.
Analysis: The problem with this story is that Sasha Banks and Bayley didn’t save Natalya last week even though they teamed up against The Riott Squad several times in the past. It’s not like WWE is going to address that, though.
Ruby Riott (w/Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan) vs. Natalya
Riott took control with a kick to the ribs followed by a had slam into the mat. Natalya came back with a slam off the ropes and a basement dropkick. Natalya attacked Riott with punches. Natalya wanted a Sharpshooter, so Riott left to the floor. The girls on the floor distracted, so Riott hit a face first slam. Riott kicked Natalya out of the ring leading to a break.
Back from break, Riott was in control and Natalya came back with a sitout slam for a two count. Natalya did a good job of showing aggressiveness s by charging at Natalya against the turnbuckle. Riott hit a STO takedown to trip up Natalya. Riott to the middle rope and she jumped off with a back splash for a two count. That was a cool move. Natalya slammed Riott off the ropes and hit a spinning clothesline. Natalya knocked Logan down on the apron, Morgan distracted, Natalya knocked her off the apron and Riott got a rollup for two using the tights. Natalya countered that pin into a pin attempt on her own although it was not a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! move. It was more of a side rollup by Natalya. The match went about eight minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Natalya
Analysis: **1/4 The match was okay with Natalya getting her revenge by winning the match although the way it was won suggests that the feud will continue. I liked the intensity of Natalya in the match because she should have been that aggressive since it has become a personal story. The crowd was dead for a lot of it, but they got into the last few minutes.
The announcers recapped the story of what happened earlier when Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre injured the right arm of Braun Strowman, who said he couldn’t feel his hand. Cole said they had disturbing news for Strowman saying that he had a “shattered elbow.”
Dean Ambrose was shown walking backstage for the main event segment.
Let’s Hear From Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose made his entrance with a napkin in his hand to cover up the smell of the fans that he claimed was a strong smell. The fans booed as Ambrose entered the ring.
Ambrose said this is too easy. Ambrose said that they all want to see Ambrose get beat up because he turned on Seth, Roman and all of you and your dirty children. Ambrose talked about how we would all do the exact same thing as what he did. Ambrose claimed he was nothing like these grubby people. Ambrose said the way fans cheer for Seth Rollins makes him sick to his stomach while wondering what that smell was. Ambrose said that it smells like a steaming pile of phony LA garbage. There was a shot of Seth Rollins on the video wall returning to the arena.
Rollins ran out to the arena with Ambrose looking concerned about it. The fight was on with Rollins hitting a clothesline over the top on Ambrose and a suicide dive drove Ambrose into the barricade. Officials showed up to try to break it up. Ambrose tried to run away, but Rollins kept him at ringside. Rollins continued the attack with punches. The WWE camera guys were shaking the camera too much like they love to do. Back in the ring, Rollins with a superkick. Rollins went for a low blow, Ambrose avoided it and hit a low blow punch to the balls. Ambrose picked up Rollins saying that he was trying to talk to Seth’s people and he told Seth to talk now. Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds on Rollins. Referees told Ambrose to leave, so he did, but then he went back in the ring. Ambrose picked up Rollins and hit another Dirty Deeds on Rollins. Raw ended with Ambrose looking down at the fallen Rollins and that was it for this week.
Analysis: The story continues with Ambrose dominating Rollins in a physical attack thanks to the low blow as well as the Dirty Deeds. Plus, Ambrose outsmarted Rollins all night long. The ongoing story all night long was pretty good and made Ambrose look very smart while Rollins looked like a fool. That’s no surprise because WWE does a poor job of building up the babyfaces on Raw. Rollins is popular, but other than him, most of the faces look like losers far too often.
Three Stars of the Show
- Seth Rollins
- Dean Ambrose
- Braun Strowman
4 out of 10
Last week: 6
2018 Average: 5.72
Last 5 Weeks: 6, 6, 3.5, 6, 5
2018 High: 8 (February 19)
2018 Low: 3.5 (October 29)
I give it a 4 out of 10.
This was a bad show. Perhaps I am just burned out from WWE content right now after a hectic week, but this show bored me a lot. I think that a 4 out of 10 score might be considered too nice by some of you readers. I liked the Ambrose/Rollins story all show long, Rousey was booked in a smart way and the Strowman injury angle was done well.
The in-ring action was poor. Some weeks on Raw we might get three or four good matches above three stars. This week there were none. I wish the matches were better because it would certainly help the product out.
Raw continues to be an average show on a regular basis and on weeks like this one, it was well below average.
— WWE (@WWE) November 20, 2018
The next WWE pay-per-view is Tables, Ladders & Chairs (TLC) on Sunday, December 16. Here’s what we know so far.
Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins (c) vs. Dean Ambrose
Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match: Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin (If Strowman wins, he challenges Lesnar for the Universal Title at Royal Rumble. If Corbin wins, he is full-time GM of Raw.)
Raw Women’s Championship: Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Nia Jax
Finals of Mixed Match Challenge (Teams to be determined.)
You can contact me using any of the methods below. See ya next time for the Smackdown review. Go Los Angeles Rams, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. Thanks for reading.