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This week’s Raw is a follow up to Saturday’s WWE Super Show-Down event from Australia. It was a four hour show with some very predictable matches and some older dudes in the main event. I also wrote a column about Super Show-Down for The Comeback breaking down the whole show while also trying to forecast what is coming up next for the key people on the show. The next two major WWE events coming up are the women’s Evolution show on October 28 and the men’s only Crown Jewel event on November 2. Let’s get to Raw.

Live from Chicago, Illinois, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1324 of Monday Night Raw. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner up top.

Raw began with a shot of the live crowd in Chicago, Michael Cole welcomed us to the show and Triple H’s “King of Kings” song played to start the show.

Let’s Hear From Triple H and Shawn Michaels

Triple H walked out in a leather jacket, a Triple H shirt and black jeans on. It was not the usual suit that we see him in during this decade of his career. He looked out at the entrance as Shawn Michaels’ music played leading to Michaels walking down to the ring in a cowboy hat, tank top and jeans. He had a serious look on his face.

Triple H said that 25 years is a long time to climb a mountain and they should be standing there proud because they made it to the top of that mountain. Hunter said that what happened when they got there made them question if that mountain was just a lie the whole time.

The video package aired showing what happened at Super Show-Down with Triple H facing The Undertaker in a “Last Time Ever” match that was No Disqualification. It had a lot of interference and Michaels helped Triple H win with a Sweet Chin Music into a Pedigree. Post match, Undertaker gave Hunter a Tombstone and a Chokeslam that put Michaels through the announce table, so it showed poor sportsmanship after the match.

Hunter talked about respect and how Shawn took him under his wing because he saw something in him to be something more. Hunter said that respect is fighting the world together – that is respect. Hunter added that respect is when you stick to your word even though everyone tells you not to, but you stick to your word – that is respect.

Michaels said that sometimes you respect what somebody used to be and what they used to represent. Michaels added that it dawns on you that respect is a two-way stretch. Michaels noted that it’s a long time to fly from Melbourne to Chicago and it allows you a long time to think. He said that it gives you time to think about the beatdown they took at Super Show-Down and think about the last 8.5 years. Michaels said it was 8.5 long years that he has sat there and honored his word out of respect that never existed at all. Michaels said that when those wheels touched down in Chicago, that door opened and Hunter said three words that he thought he would never hear again. Hunter: “Are you ready?” The crowd cheered.

Triple H said that the question isn’t for Shawn because he knows Shawn is ready, so the question is for The Undertaker and Kane. Triple H: “Crown Jewel – are you ready?” Michaels said that “Degeneration X is ready.” Michaels called out the Brothers of Destruction saying that he says this with absolutely no respect at all, if you’re not down with that at all, they’ve got two words for ya: “SUCK IT!” Michaels and Hunter took off their shirts to reveal new Degeneration X t-shirts. The DX theme song played with the announcers freaking out that DX was back. The crowd was happy about it. Shawn and Hunter did their tag team pose in the ring followed by some crotch chops by Hunter. They left together without a response.

Analysis: It was what we expected with Triple H and Michaels bringing the intensity leading to the challenge for the legends tag team match at Crown Jewel. The storyline was established weeks ago when Michaels said he didn’t unretire in the last eight years because of the respect he had for Undertaker and the stipulation of the WrestleMania 26 match that ended Shawn’s career. This time, Michaels had no respect because of the cheap attack by Undertaker and Kane after the Super Show-Down. I think in terms of giving a reason for the match, it does make a lot of sense. We all want things to make sense, so at least they deserve some credit for setting it up the right way. The real reason Michaels is wrestling is that WWE is getting something like $40 million for Crown Jewel aka Crash Grab 2.0 and Michaels is probably getting paid in the high six figures for one match (Brock Lesnar is probably getting paid into the millions for one match at the same show), so he might as well make a lot of money. I don’t think it tarnishes his legacy to have one more match or even more after that. I’m a HBK fan, so I welcome it.

The announce team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Renee Young were shown at their table reacting to the news.

Still to come: The Shield vs. Strowman, Ziggler and McIntyre again. Also, Ronda Rousey and the Bella Twins against the Riott Squad again. Trish Stratus is also on Raw. Bobby Lashley vs. Kevin Owens is up next in a rematch from last week. Holy shit that’s a lot of rematches.

(Commercial)

Bobby Lashley made his entrance with his hype man manager Lio Rush. Tickets are on sale for the Royal Rumble this Friday. It takes place in Phoenix at their baseball stadium Chase Field on January 27. It will be a big crowd with over 50,000 people.

Kevin Owens made his entrance alone. Owens and Elias lost to Lashley and John Cena at Super Show-Down in one of the most predictable matches at that show.

Bobby Lashley (w/Lio Rush) vs. Kevin Owens

Lashley shoved down Owens, so Owens went to the floor. Rush had a microphone with him saying that Owens was never ready. Lashley with a shoulder tackle that knocked down Owens. Lashley charged at Owens, who ducked and he sent Lashley over the top to the floor. Owens left the ring with a punch to the face. Owens was distracted, so Lashley hit a clothesline on the floor. Rush doing a promo about his man Lashley, he encouraged cheers and fans actually booed. That was not the desired reaction. Owens with a clothesline that sent Lashley over the top to the floor. Owens with a kick to the face followed by a somersault dive over the top by Owens onto Lashley. That was impressive and it also looked like a painful move for Lashley because all of KO’s weight landed on him. They got into a slugfest on the floor with the fans booing Lashley’s punches. Lashley charged, Owens moved and Lashley hit the barricade as the show went to break.

Analysis: This crowd is rejecting Lashley with Rush getting booed a lot as well. It will be interesting to see if WWE realizes that or ignores it.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Lashley slapped on a headlock as the fans chanted for Owens. Rush encouraged more Lashley chants, the fans didn’t join in and Owens broke free to go after Rush, who ran away. Owens grabbed Lashley, but Lashley got Owens and whipped him into the steel steps. Lashley whipped Owens into the barricade at ringside. Rush wanted more “Lashley” chants, which drew more boos. Back in the ring, Lashley with punches to the head, a corner clothesline and a running shoulder tackle to the ribs. Owens worked over Lashley with forearms to the face and Lashley hit a huge spinebuster. Lashley hit a delayed vertical suplex and pinned Owens for a two count. The fans cheered that kickout. Lashley slapped on a Full Nelson submission. Owens broke free with a back elbow, a superkick to the jaw and Owens hit a Stunner for a two count. That drew a good ovation with Rush saying that Lashley is still in the fight. The fans booed Rush again. Owens went up top, Rush distracted him, Lashley tripped him up and Owens was upside down on the top rope. Lashley with a running kick to the knee. Lashley with a kick to the back of the knee of Owens. Lashley picked up Owens to his shoulder and hit a Dominator slam off the shoulders for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bobby Lashley

Analysis: **1/2 That was a solid match with Lashley coming off as a badass heel. The crowd reactions were likely what WWE wanted with Rush as the annoying manager. While Owens didn’t play to the crowd, it was easy to support him since Lashley acted as a heel. I like that Lashley used the slam off the shoulders as a finisher instead of the delayed vertical suplex, which is not a good finisher type move.

After the match was over, Lashley told the referee to raise his hand as the winner of the match. That’s something heels like to ask for. Lashley left with Rush, who finally stopped talking.

Post match, Lashley went back in the ring with a forearm to the back of the left knee of Owens. Lashley whipped KO’s left knee into the ring post three times. Lashley grabbed the right leg and whipped that into the ring post followed by another whip of the left leg into the ring post. Lashley celebrated while the crowd booed him.

Analysis: I thought that was well done. Lashley needed the heel turn as much as anybody on either show, so let’s see what he can do with Rush as the annoying manager. I assume that this will also turn Owens face because he was the one that was attacked and it’s easy to build sympathy heat for a guy that was brutally attacked after a match. I’m not sure if Owens had an injury or if this is a way to write him out for a week or two.

They mentioned qualifying matches for the WWE World Cup at the Crown Jewel event on November 2.

A video package aired about John Cena showing all the things he has accomplished in his career including 16 WWE World Title reigns. He doesn’t have to qualify for the World Cup tournament.

A guitar string was heard because Elias is up next.

(Commercial)

Finn Balor and Bayley were interviewed by Kayla Broxton, who is short compared to Bayley. She really makes Finn look like a giant too and he’s about 5’9” so that’s why she has the better. They were asked about Jinder and Alicia as a Mixed Match Challenge team. Finn and Bayley talked about how great they are as a team. Lio Rush and Bobby Lashley showed up to interrupt. Lashley asked why they had to talk about some hugs and noted that he beat up Kevin Owens. Rush said with his words and Lashley’s power, that is too sweet…which is a Balor thing. The Lashley/Rush duo left while Balor and Bayley looked unimpressed.

Analysis: It could be a tease for Lashley feuding with Balor down the road since Balor has had nothing to do for way too long while Lashley is now a heel.

Elias was in the ring playing his guitar a bit. He did a good job of playing it, so that led to some cheers before he did his usual bits. Elias said that John Cena that WWE stands for “Walk With Elias” with the crowd doing that WWE part twice. Elias complained about the loss in Australia. Elias did a song about how in Australia he was distracted by many things like John Cena’s hair. He complained about Australia and then said when he thought things couldn’t get worse he was flown to Chicago. He got more heat when he noted the Cubs won’t be in the World Series. Here’s the interruption from…Ronda Rousey.

Analysis: It was the usual cheap heat promo from Elias. He could really use a meaningful feud.

Ronda Rousey made her entrance with the Raw Women’s Championship on her right shoulder to a huge ovation.

(Commercial)

The Bella Twins made their entrance. Nikki has the shortest shorts in WWE, I think. That’s not a complaint. More of an observation. When they went in the ring, they hugged Rousey.

The Riott Squad trio of Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan entered for this rematch from Super Show-Down where Rousey won easily for her team.

Ronda Rousey, Nikki Bella and Brie Bella vs. The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan)

Brie started with Liv with the women showing a lot of intensity as they went brawling under the rope and outside the ring based on the reality from a few weeks ago when Brie gave Morgan a concussion with a few errant kicks to the head. Rousey tagged in and took down Logan with an arm wringer. The Riott Squad bailed to the floor as the show went to break.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Nikki hit a spinebuster on Riott. Nikki with two clotheslines, a dropkick, corner clothesline and a jumping kick off the middle rope for a two count. Brie tagged, went for a running attack, but was pulled out of the ring with Riott hitting a STO on Brie on the floor. The commentary turned to Renee calling the Bellas “trailblazers” which is almost as silly as calling them legendary, but that’s WWE commentary these days. Logan with a shoulder tackle on Brie. Sloppy hip toss by Logan followed by a running knee for a two count. Morgan with a jumping kick to the head of Brie for a two count, Riott back in with a kick to the chest for another two count. Brie fought out of the corner and hit a missile dropkick off the middle rope. Rousey got the hot tag with a clothesline on Riott, rollup by Riott for two and Rousey worked over Riott with punches followed by knees to the ribs. Rousey hit her spinning Samoan Drop slam. Rousey with the armbar on Riott while the Bellas held the other girls. The bad thing about that is Logan walked towards it and then tripped herself rather than Brie tripping her. That looked so bad. It was also dumb because Rousey waited for it. Anyway, the submission win happened after about 11 minutes.

Winners by submission: Ronda Rousey, Nikki Bella and Brie Bella

Analysis: *1/2 It was a basic match that was almost a carbon copy of the Super Show-Down match with Rousey getting the hot tag and finishing it off with a submission win. This match was a bit sloppy with a few awkward moments in there. This feud has not helped the Riott Squad at all since they come across as losers every time they are in there with Rousey.

Post match, the Bellas posed with Rousey in the ring. The camera stayed on them a bit longer than usual, so it was obvious what was coming. When Rousey turned her back, Nikki hit Rousey with a forearm. The Bellas stomped away on Rousey in the corner as the fans booed the Bellas for their actions. Rousey took down Nikki with an arm wringer. Nikki tried to attack, Rousey took her down by the arm and the Bellas bailed to the floor. Rousey went after Nikki, but Brie was there to whip Rousey into the steel post. Referees went down to ringside, so the Bellas stomped away on Rousey. The Bellas whipped Rousey hard into the steel steps and into the barricade. The Bellas posed over a fallen Rousey in the middle of the ring as the fans booed them for their actions. Nikki put the Raw Women’s Title on Rousey and the Bellas left. Rousey had a shocked look on her face wondering what happened.

Analysis: There’s the Bellas heel turn that most of us expected. I admit I wasn’t sure if WWE would do it because I thought maybe they would want Nikki as a face against Ronda, but I’m glad they did it because it makes for a better story this way. It was reported over a month ago that Rousey vs. Nikki was the plan at Evolution and this was the heel turn to set it up. The obvious question here was where was Rousey’s “best friend” Natalya during the four-minute attack? They put up a Youtube clip showing Natalya checking on Rousey after the attack during the break, but it doesn’t explain what took so long. Even Dana Brooke tweeted wondering where Natalya was. It makes Natalya look like a terrible friend. I’m not saying Natalya will turn on Rousey too, but I guess it’s a possibility. The Bellas are better as heels anyway.

(Commercial)

The replay aired of the Bella Twins heel turn on Rousey with the announcers acting shocked by what happened. They did not show Natalya helping Rousey after the attack, but that’s on Youtube and WWE’s social media.

Bayley and Finn Balor made their entrance for mixed tag team action. They are Mixed Match Challenge team that faces Braun Strowman and Ember Moon this Tuesday. My MMC reviews go up on TJRWrestling on Wednesdays. Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox entered with Sunil Singh to lose another match together.

Team B’N’B (Finn Balor and Bayley) vs. Mahalicia (Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox) w/Sunil Singh

Mahal with a body slam followed by a chinlock. Balor with a basement dropkick on Mahal. Fox tagged in, so Bayley had to tag in and Bayley hit a headscissors on Mahal as the show went to break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Fox stomping away on Bayley followed by a forearm for the two count. Bayley sent Fox out of the ring. Balor tagged in with a forearm for Mahal and then a double stomp to the chest. Balor avoided a corner attack, Mahal with a boot to the face, Balor with a leaping kick and Balor hit an elbow drop to the chest into a slam with Fox breaking up the pin. Bayley charged and knocked Sunil off the apron. Bayley pulled Fox out of the ring. Balor with a jumping kick to Mahal. Balor up top and he hit the Coup de Gras double foot stomp on Mahal for the pinfall win after about seven minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Team B’N’B (Finn Balor and Bayley)

Analysis: *3/4 The match was basic stuff with the Mahalicia team not putting up much of a threat. The team of Balor and Bayley is likable, so they work well together. Please get Finn Balor something better to do. At least he deserves some credit for pretending to give a shit about being a mixed tag team wrestler. Bayley should be doing a lot more too.

Still to come: Trish Stratus is there, plus The Shield vs. Strowman, Ziggler and McIntyre in a Super Show-Down rematch.

The trio of Strowman, Ziggler and McIntyre were in the locker room. Ziggler said it was one little slip-up in Australia. Ziggler told Strowman he needs him to be the monster that he is. Ziggler tried to hype up McIntyre and McIntyre said he knows what they need to do. McIntyre said that it was Ziggler that got pinned at Super Show-Down while telling Ziggler he had to worry about pulling his own weight. Strowman said he’s heard enough of them bickering. Strowman said they need to watch his back so he can win the Universal Champion because that’s for the best. Strowman said they will put The Shield down for good and he didn’t want any excuses. Strowman left after his pep talk.

Baron Corbin was shown walking backstage. Heath Slater walked up to him saying he wants to be a part of the battle royal tonight. Corbin told him no because he’s not any good.

Analysis: Heath Slater is still on the show? Good to know. Maybe it’s the start of some angle for him or maybe it’s just nothing and a way for Corbin to come across like a jerk.

(Commercial)

The video aired about the WWE Network Wednesday night lineup and then the announcers mentioned it briefly.

A replay aired of Triple H and Michaels doing the promo earlier to bring Degeneration X back.

The tag team match is official for Crown Jewel on November 2 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Triple H and Shawn Michaels as Degeneration X vs. The Undertaker and Kane as the Brothers of Destruction.

There were a bunch of no-name wrestlers in the ring for a battle royal. Acting Raw GM Baron Corbin showed up with a promo talking about how Crown Jewel will be historic. Corbin said that eight of WWE’s top superstars in a prestigious one night World Cup tournament. Corbin said to prove himself, he’s going to be in a global battle royal. Corbin called it a “star-studded” battle royal even though they all appeared to be indy wrestlers. One guy had a full gold conquistador outfit, so it was obvious what was coming.

Corbin went over the names of everybody. I’m not going over all the names, but the idea was they were from different countries like Russia, Egypt, Mexico, Poland, Chile, Antarctica, Belgium (“The Belgian Waffler”), The Conquistador from Spain and a guy from Luxembourg. Baron Corbin represented the United States leading to boos for him, not for the US.

World Cup Battle Royal

The announcers realized this was ridiculous and just an easy way for Corbin to win. The Conquistador bailed to the floor early in the match. Everybody else tried to attack Corbin. When Corbin broke free, he eliminated two guys and a third guy couldn’t even bump over the top to the floor. Corbin eliminated four guys including the Mexican that the fans liked. There were seven eliminations from Corbin with just the guy from Luxembourg, who applied a claw, but Corbin dumped him out. Corbin thought he won the match. Corbin went to the turnbuckle, but The Conquistador was still in the match. The Conquistador hit three very familiar German Suplexes with the crowd popping big for it because they know what it was. Olympic Slam! Conquistador with a clothesline that sent Corbin over the top to the floor. It went about three minutes.

Winner: The Conquistador

Post match, The Conquistador did a big reveal where he took off his mask to show us that it was Kurt Angle. That drew a huge pop as the Raw GM is back. Fans chanted “you suck” as Angle’s music played with Corbin freaking out outside the ring.

Analysis: * It was a comedy match to set up Angle’s return. I thought it was well booked and done in an entertaining way. It made Corbin looked like a fool because he was too dumb to realize what was happening. The crowd reacted to the reveal in a big way. The win by Angle means he is joining John Cena in the World Cup tournament on the Raw brand. Welcome back, Kurt.

(Commercial)

A replay aired of Angle getting the win as The Conquistador.

Angle was interviewed by Charly Caruso backstage. She welcomed back Angle and he said that technically, he’s still on vacation.

Ember Moon was shown in the ring for a match. No televised entrance for her. Nia Jax got her full televised entrance because she’s not like most girls. The announcers talked about how busy Nia is. Are most girls busy? Because she’s not like most of them! It’s in the song, pal.

Ember Moon vs. Nia Jax

Jax punched Moon down early. Moon came back with a step up enziguri. When Moon charged again, Jax shoved her down hard on Moon’s back. Jax tossed Moon across the ring. Moon with a hurricanrana that took Jax down and a basement dropkick by Moon sent Jax out of the ring. Moon ran the ropes and hit a suicide dive. Jax barely moved after it, so Jax pulled Moon out of the ring. They got into a fight on the floor. Jax charged at Moon, who moved, and Jax went running into the video board on the ring apron. Ouch. Moon went back in the ring to win by countout after about three minutes.

Winner by countout: Ember Mon

Post match, Jax hugged Moon and raised her hand as the winner of the match. They hugged. That was it.

Analysis: *1/2 It was fine for a short match. Both women are faces, so this felt like a random match just thrown together to get them on the show. I don’t think either woman is turning heel or anything like that although Jax is better as a heel. I think it was more about showing how intense of a battle it was.

Trish Stratus is up next.

(Commercial)

Let’s Hear From Trish Stratus

Trish Stratus made her entrance to a nice ovation. She looks great. Stratus did a promo saying that in three weeks they are making history at Evolution. Stratus talked about her opponent Alexa Bliss, who had a Moment of Bliss last week that Trish called a moment of BS. Trish said she wanted to enlighten “little miss brat” with a moment of Stratusfaction.

Alexa Bliss made her entrance on the stage with the lovely Mickie James by her side. Both of them are lovely. I’m just saying. Bliss said that nobody cares what Trish has to say except these “dullers” in Chicago. Trish said Bliss is calling them “dullers” after the mathematical skills that Bliss showed last week. (If you recall, Bliss’ math was bad last week when she lied about how young she was when Trish was wrestling in WWE.) Trish said that Alexa came up “short” in the math department and said that’s not the only place she comes up short. Bliss joked that she never heard a short joke before. Bliss said it’s an honor to be out there with Trish and now she has a match with her at Evolution. Bliss said Trish is a 7-time champion and she’s seen her matches. Bliss said now she can tell Trish woman to woman: “You sucked!” Bliss said that Trish is lucky that Bliss wasn’t around back then and said that Trish would have been an afterthought living in Alexa’s shadow.

Trish said if Alexa thinks that Trish couldn’t step in the ring with her, Bliss should step in the ring with her right now. Bliss walked down to the ring with James.

James said this is not happening right here because these people don’t deserve it. James said that they both know that nothing good ever happens in Chicago (WrestleMania 22 reference where Mickie beat Trish in that building). Trish said that if Mickie is going to protect her bestie, why doesn’t she tell her what it’s like to be in the ring with a 7-time champion? Trish added that she is going to take care of “bidness” (or business) at Evolution. Trish said that at Evolution they will know what a Hall of Fame beatdown feels like. Mickie suggested at Evolution maybe they should team up. Trish said a tag team match is a heck of an idea, so she has to think of a partner, it’s an extremely difficult decision, how about this person…and here comes Lita. Big pop for Lita.

Lita walked down to the ring to join her buddy Trish in the ring. James and Stratus battled in the corner while Bliss bailed from the ring when Lita got the advantage on her. Lita decked James with a forearm and Trish hit a Chick Kick on Mickie. When Lita went up for a moonsault, Bliss pulled James out of the ring to save her. That ended the segment as Trish and Lita posed while Mickie and Alexa left together.

Analysis: Good segment. I could be a bit biased in saying that because I’m a huge fan of some of these women, but I thought the whole thing was done well. I’m okay with them doing a tag team match instead of two singles because now we get to see Trish and Mickie in the same match. Plus, it gives more time for other matches on the card. Instead of two singles matches going about 10 minutes each, you can do one tag team match in the 12-15 minute range. It’s also easier on Trish and Lita, who are not wrestling regularly, so there’s less pressure in a tag team match.

The Shield trio of Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose did a cell phone promo. Reigns said they are not an alliance or a friendship, they are a brotherhood. Ambrose said that they are not the bad guys and Rollins said that they are the bad guys. Reigns said that when the three of them go against the three of us, the story is the same. Rollins said that they are the one true constant. Ambrose said they are the hounds of justice and Reigns ended it saying they are The Shield…believe that.

Analysis: Solid promo from The Shield trio.

Bobby Roode and Chad Gable made their glorious entrance for a tag team match.

(Commercial)

This Tuesday night, John Cena will be on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Bobby Roode and Chad Gable were in the ring. The Ascension entered with Konnor doing a promo saying that they are going to beat them.

Bobby Roode and Chad Gable vs. The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor)

Gable with a missile dropkick on Konnor early in the match. Viktor tagged in with a running uppercut on Gable. The fans started a “CM Punk” chant because they were probably bored as Viktor worked over Gable. Konnor tagged in with an uppercut. Viktor slapped on an armbar on Gable. Gable broke free leading to a hot tag to Roode to no reaction. Roode with an atomic drop on Viktor, chops to Viktor, Roode with two boots to the face and Roode hit a Blockbuster neckbreaker off the ropes. Konnor missed an attack, Gable sent him to the floor, Viktor elbowed Roode to the corner, Gable tagged himself in, Roode did not like that and Gable hit a rolling German Suplex into a bridging pin for the win after four minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Bobby Roode and Chad Gable

Analysis: *1/2 This might be the end of this “rivalry” after two months of wrestling nearly every week. I’m tired of writing about their matches. The end of the match had a moment where Roode looked frustrated with Gable tagging himself back in, so maybe there’s that Roode heel turn coming soon.

Post match, AOP ran down to the ring. They ran over Konnor at ringside. AOP went into the ring with a stiff clothesline on Gable and a clothesline on Roode. Their manager Drake Maverick was with them. There was a double team neckbreaker/powerbomb on Roode. AOP picked up Gable and Viktor for the Super Collider double powerbomb spot. Maverick posed in the ring with AOP.

Analysis: That will probably set up a brief feud with AOP against Roode and Gable. AOP should crush them easily. AOP continues their run as a dominant team.

(Commercial)

A replay aired of the Bella Twins attacking Ronda Rousey earlier.

It was announced that Ronda Rousey will defend the Raw Women’s Title against Nikki Bella at Evolution on October 28. That was expected. The women’s tag team match is official also with Lita and Trish against Alexa and Mickie.

The return of Degeneration X at the start of Raw was shown. That will lead to the tag team match at Crown Jewel on November 2: DX (Triple H and Michaels) vs. Brothers of Destruction (Undertaker and Kane).

A video package aired about some of the antics of Degeneration X. It showed some stuff from the 1997 version, but it was mostly stuff from their reunions in the mid to late 2000s.

The announcers went over the other Crown Jewel matches on November 2: AJ Styles vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship and Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman for the Universal Championship.

The great Paul Heyman showed up on the ramp to let us know that he is the advocate for the crown jewel of WWE, Brock Lesnar. Heyman said he’s here for the very same reason that we are to see a fight. Heyman said he’s there to see legalized thuggery for the six man tag team match coming up. Heyman said he finds it ironic that 72 hours ago, Reigns and Strowman beat the holy crap out of eachother in Australia, both had to fly a 20 hour plane fight just to appear here tonight here in Chicago and beat eachother up all over again. Heyman said that’s what we do in World Wrestling Entertainment for seven days a week and fly all around the world just to put smiles on the faces of the WWE Universe. Heyman said that in Suplex City, his client Brock Lesnar is sleeping in his own bed eating home cooked meals and training at his gym. Heyman said that Lesnar is training to become the first ever champion in UFC and WWE at the same time. Heyman said that Lesnar is the one that has the goal of being Universal Champion while Reigns is in a stable where he has to watch other people’s back and the same goes for Strowman. Heyman called Lesnar the “hardest working champion in WWE history” which isn’t true while adding that Lesnar doesn’t say the word “we” while adding that Lesnar says “me, me, me, me” which is why Lesnar will become Universal Champion on November 2 at Crown Jewel.

Analysis: It was a promo from Heyman to try to get us to think that Lesnar cares about winning the Universal Championship again. They do have the Crown Jewel show to sell, so they might as well have Heyman show up occasionally to do an effective promo about it.

The Shield trio of Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose made their entrance to a good ovation. They entered the arena by walking in through the crowd as usual.

(Commercial)

The trio of Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre made their entrance. I don’t think they are officially called the “Dogs of War” although they have used that name previously. There’s no official name for the group right now. The teams had a staredown before the match.

The Shield (Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose) vs. Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler

There was a double team suplex from Rollins and Ambrose on McIntyre. Strowman tagged in with a running shoulder tackle on Ambrose. When Strowman charged, Ambrose moved and tagged in Reigns. There was a big faceoff with Reigns and Strowman as Strowman hit a running splash against the turnbuckle. Reigns with an uppercut. Reigns wanted a Samoan Drop, but Strowman ran the ropes and hit a running shoulder tackle. McIntyre and Ziggler tried a double suplex on Reigns, but Ambrose and Rollins saved Reigns leading to a double clothesline that sent McIntyre and Ziggler out of the ring. Strowman yelled at Drew and Dolph to get back into it.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Strowman in control as he hit a running splash on Reigns against the turnbuckle. A replay aired from during the break when Strowman gave Reigns a Chokeslam on the side of the ring apron. Reigns got back into it with an uppercut punch on Ziggler. Strowman back in, he charged, Reigns moved and Strowman went shoulder first into the turnbuckle, which is a bump Strowman does in nearly every match. Reigns powered up Strowman leading to a Samoan Drop, which drew cheers. Rollins tagged in against Ziggler with a Slingblade and Rollins hit a suicide dive on McIntyre out of the ring. Rollins with a springboard clothesline off the top onto Ziggler for a two count. Rollins with a kick to the gut, Ziggler avoided the Stomp, Rollins caught Ziggler and a Buckle Bomb connected for Rollins after a series of reverses from both guys. McIntyre broke up that pin attempt. Ambrose dumped McIntyre over the top to the floor. Strowman teased a double Chokeslam, but Reigns got back into it with a Superman Punch. Strowman was kicked out of the ring. Reigns and Ambrose hit suicide dives at the same time onto McIntyre and Ziggler on the floor. Reigns hit a superman dive over the top to take everybody out. That was impressive. Great way to go into a break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Strowman in control again as he hit a headbutt on Rollins. The fans chanted “we want Ambrose” since he wasn’t in the ring as much as the others. Strowman slapped on a vice grip on Seth’s neck to keep him grounded. Strowman with an uppercut punch on Rollins. McIntyre tagged in with a clothesline on Rollins. McIntyre with a stiff boot to the head of Rollins to keep him down. McIntyre tagged in and Rollins hit him with a jumping kick to the head. Strowman beat up Reigns and Ambrose by taking them off the apron. Strowman whipped them into the barricade and the steel steps. Strowman pulled Rollins to their corner. Strowman yelled at Ziggler about carrying his weight, so McIntyre got in Strowman’s face. Rollins back into it with a rollup for two on McIntyre. Rollins with a back body drop on McIntyre that saw McIntyre land on Strowman on the floor.

Ambrose got the hot tag, he rolled McIntyre back in the ring, Ambrose with two clotheslines out of the corner and avoided a McIntyre slam leading to a rollup by Ambrose for two. Spinning neckbreaker by Ambrose got a two count. Sweet move there. McIntyre got back into it with a spinebuster on Ambrose following a distraction from Ziggler. Rollins and Ziggler did a spot where Rollins suplexed Ziggler over the top to the floor. Ambrose and McIntyre did a double clothesline spot as the two legal men in the match. Reigns went for a Superman Punch on Strowman on the floor, but Strowman shoved Reigns into the ring post. Ambrose tried a suicide dive on Strowman, that led to Strowman catching him and Ambrose hit a DDT on Strowman on the floor. That was impressive. Reigns with a Spear on Strowman to take him out. Rollins took out Ziggler with a clothesline again, that distracted Ambrose a bit and McIntyre hit a Claymore Kick on Ambrose for the pinfall win after about 21 minutes of action.

Winners by pinfall: Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler

Analysis: ***3/4 It was a great six-man tag team match that got a lot of time and was a better match than what they did at Super Show-Down mostly because they got more time. There was an extended period of time where Reigns was the face in peril, then it was Rollins and Ambrose was the last man in the ring for his team. I liked the way Strowman was booked to look so dominant as usual. I like that it was McIntyre that got the win because he has been booked so well over the last couple of weeks. The Shield has been in so many long tag team matches like this over the years, so WWE knows if you give them over 20 minutes it’s going to be an entertaining match. Great job by all six guys. They did an awesome job of telling the story in the match.

After the match, Strowman, Ziggler and McIntyre left up the ramp together.

The Shield trio were all around the ring alone. Ambrose decided to walk up the ramp alone while Reigns and Rollins wondered what he was doing.

Analysis: It continues the story of Ambrose possibly turning his back on his Shield “brothers” by walking away without them. I don’t think the heel turn is coming right now, but maybe in the new year around the Royal Rumble.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. All six guys in the main event. That was great. No need for other stars.

 

The Scoreboard

7 out of 10 (That’s my highest score for Raw since June 28, which was also a 7.)

Last week: 6.5

2018 Average: 5.82

Last 5 Weeks: 6.5, 6.5, 5.5, 5.5, 5

2018 High: 8 (February 19)

2018 Low: 4 (June 4, July 2, August 6)

 

Final Thoughts

I give it a 7 out of 10.

I thought it was a good show with a quality main event, a fun opening promo and all of the turns gave this show a different kind of feel to it. Bobby Lashley turned heel, Kevin Owens might be a face now and the Bellas are heels again. I like all of those moves. I enjoyed the Kurt Angle return too because even though it was obvious, it was a creative way to bring him back into the mix. I liked the Trish segment with the other women as well.

The matches weren’t great all night long, but that’s okay because I think the story progression was pretty good.

Here’s the updated lineup for women’s only Evolution on October 28.

Raw Women’s Championship: Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Nikki Bella

Trish Stratus and Lita vs. Mickie James and Alexa Bliss

There will be more matches and I’m not going to spoil NXT matches, so those are the only ones official now.

Here’s the updated lineup for men’s only Crown Jewel on November 2.

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

Triple H and Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker and Kane

WWE Championship: AJ Styles vs. Daniel Bryan

WWE World Cup: John Cena and Kurt Angle are two of the eight competitors.

You can contact me using any of the methods below. See ya next time for the Smackdown review. Go Los Angeles Rams. Thanks for reading.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport

Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling on Facebook

 

 

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