Welcome to another edition of the WWE Raw Deal review here on TJRWrestling for the first episode of Raw since the WWE Draft concluded last Monday.
This is the first Raw post-WWE Draft, but that doesn’t mean everybody will be there this week. Some people that were drafted to Raw last week are working Smackdown live events in Australia this week, so they won’t be on Raw. That includes Randy Orton, Charlotte Flair, Buddy Murphy (he’s Australian), The IIconics (also Australian), Asuka & Kairi Sane, and Erick Rowan.
Before I begin, I re-posted one of my favorite articles I’ve ever written that’s about Edge’s career. I wrote about it in 2011 after he retired. Since it wasn’t on the current TJRWrestling site, I posted it again and thankfully Edge saw it. I didn’t share it with him, but others did, so that’s cool.
Thanks man. Glad you were along for the whole ride https://t.co/fljZCU8o3k
— Adam (Edge) Copeland (@EdgeRatedR) October 21, 2019
It’s always nice to get acknowledgment from the people I admire in the ring. Will he wrestle again? I don’t know, but I’m thankful we got to see him because he’s one of my favorite wrestlers ever that grew up pretty close to where I’m from. It’s nice to see a “hometown” guy do so well and I wish him the best as a father of two girls, husband of Beth Phoenix and I know his acting career is keeping him busy too. On a personal note, I need to get back to writing career articles about individuals like him.
Live from Cleveland, Ohio, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1378 of Monday Night Raw. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage, insightful columns from our team along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner up top.
The opening video package summarized the feud between Universal Champion Seth Rollins and Bray Wyatt with Rollins burning down the Firefly Fun House last week.
The Raw intro video aired with the song “Legendary” by the band Skillet. It’s the new Raw signature video because the roster is brand exclusive now.
The pyro went off in the arena and the crowd loved that, so they made a lot of noise.
The legendary two-time WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair made his entrance to a big pop from the crowd. The Raw announce team of Vic Joseph, Jerry “The King” Lawler and Dio Maddin welcomed us to the show. They talked about Team Hogan vs. Team Flair at Crown Jewel on October 31.
Let’s Hear from Ric Flair
Flair said that Cleveland needs a champion since LeBron is gone, but they’ve got the Nature Boy. Flair said that at Crown Jewel, Team Flair is going to beat Team Hogan. Flair pointed out some “Little Nature Boys” in the crowd because some guys were dressed like Ric. Flair said that Hogan has great men and great athletes on his team, but Flair has the last hand to play. Flair told a fan to “tell his girlfriend that” when a fan yelled something and he told the fan he knew his mother, which drew laughs. Flair said he’s got a guy to join his team.
Drew McIntyre made his entrance as the fifth member of Team Ric Flair at Crown Jewel with McIntyre making his entrance in his ring gear. Flair made a joke about the NFL’s Cleveland Browns losing games. There were members of the Browns at ringside.
McIntyre said that Flair should take a seat and have a good look at what McIntyre is going to do to Team Hogan at Crown Jewel.
That led to Ricochet making his entrance to a good ovation for a match after the break.
Analysis: That opening segment ended after about 10 minutes into the show, so it didn’t run too long. It did what they needed to do in bringing back Drew McIntyre as a major player on Raw again while Flair had fun doing his promo. Welcome back to McIntyre after missing nearly two months (last match was August 26 when he lost to Ricochet). Flair was fun and full of energy as usual.
Drew McIntyre vs. Ricochet
McIntyre grabbed Ricochet by the face and sent him over the top to the floor while Ric Flair watched from a chair at ringside. The announcers busted out the “real life superhero” phrase for Ricochet again. McIntyre stomped away on Ricochet, then Ricochet tried punches and McIntyre hit him with a forearm. McIntyre with a back body drop for a two count. McIntyre remained in control as he stretched the neck of McIntyre into the bottom rope. McIntyre tossed Ricochet across the ring followed by an armbar to grind the high flyer. Ricochet with a springboard attack, McIntyre caught him and McIntyre with an elbow that sent Ricochet to the floor. Ricochet with a dropkick to the leg while McIntyre was on the apron. Ricochet hit a suicide dive into a flip that took out McIntyre on the floor.
The match returned with McIntyre still in control as he sent Ricochet into the turnbuckle with Ricochet taking a back bump into the corner because he’s great. Flair was interviewed by Sarah Schreiber with Flair doing a yelling promo about how he wants to go face to face with Hogan on Smackdown. McIntyre went up top, he jumped off with nothing and Ricochet stopped him with a dropkick. Ricochet with punches, a forearm, dropkick and a pop up enziguri kick. Ricochet hit a springboard clothesline for a two count. McIntyre tried an attack, but Ricochet hit a springboard kick to the face for a two count. Ricochet with a springboard moonsault for a two count. That looked so smooth. McIntyre got back up, Ricochet with a kick to the head, McIntyre sent Ricochet tothe turnbuckle and when Ricochet jumped, McIntyre decked him with a forearm. McIntyre hit a Buckle Bomb into the turnbuckle and a sitout Powerbomb for a two count. Ricochet with a jawbreaker, a kick missed, but then a back kick connected and good job of Drew getting his hand up to soften the blow. Ricochet with a kick followed by a Death Valley Driver putting McIntyre down. The fans were really into the match as Ricochet went up top and hit a Shooting Star Press for a two count. Ricochet went up top, he went for a 450 Splash, McIntyre moved, caught him and sent Ricochet over the top to the floor. McIntyre whipped Ricochet right shoulder first into the steel ring post. Ricochet slowly got back to his feet and McIntyre hit the Claymore Kick for the pinfall win after about 17 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Drew McIntyre
Analysis: ***1/2 That was a great match with each guy getting a lot of offense and believable nearfalls along the way. The crowd really got into the match as Ricochet made his athletic comebacks, McIntyre sold everything well for his smaller opponent and then things turned when McIntyre sent him into the ring post. The Claymore Kick is a protected, devastating finishing move, so it’s no surprise that got Drew the win. I don’t think Ricochet is hurt by losing this match although I’d love to see him get some more wins too. The booking of Ricochet has been inconsistent for most of this year. Putting a long match in the first hour is smart because the fans are going to be hotter when it happens earlier in the show.
After the match was over, McIntyre gave Ricochet a headbutt and he whipped him into the steel ring post. McIntyre followed up with a double arm DDT on Ricochet. McIntyre grabbed Ricochet on the floor, he put Ricochet on his back and gave him a reverse Alabama Slam that sent Ricochet face first into the steel steps. McIntyre celebrated with Flair.
Analysis: Good way of showing off the aggressiveness of McIntyre, who has all the tools to be a main event player. Hopefully that happens at the end of this year or early next year.
Later on Raw: Rusev is a guest on King’s Court, The OC vs. The Street Profits and a partner and Seth Rollins will be there.
They showed Cardale Jones of the XFL’s DC Defenders. He was a failure in the NFL, so that’s why he’s in the XFL next year. He was a good QB at Ohio State, so the fans cheered.
A video was shown of The OC trio beating up The Street Profits duo last week on Raw, which led to the challenge for tonight.
The OC trio were interviewed by Charly Caruso. Anderson called the Street Profits rookies and they have to earn their keep just like they did. AJ Styles said that “getting the smoke” is illegal there and Gallows said that Cleveland sucks, which drew boos. Styles said when the bell rings, the Street Profits are going to get the beating of their lives and told the “mother lovers” to throw it up leading to the too sweet hand gesture.
There was a video of the “instant impact” that these Raw draft picks made last week: Andrade with Zelina Vega, Buddy Murphy and Aleister Black.
A graphic was shown of the Raw roster. Dio Maddin said that Samoa Joe will have the best value because he slipped in the draft due to injury, but he’s going to deliver.
Aleister Black was backstage in a darkened room doing a promo about how he’s ready for a fight.
Aleister Black made his entrance for a match. It’s one of the coolest entrances in WWE and I like the song a lot. It fits him very well.
Aleister Black vs. Jason Reynolds
This won’t be long. Black with hard kicks to the legs, then a leg sweep and Black sat down in the ring. Black with a spinning back elbow knocked Reynolds down. Reynolds hit two punches to the back to get some brief offense, but that ended when Black unleashed with kicks and a jumping knee. Black hit the Black Mass spin kick for the victory after about two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Aleister Black
Analysis: 1/2* It was an easy win for Black as expected. Black is a very impressive wrestler with a bright future, so it’s just a matter of who is he going to feud with and how far they push him in the long term.
Rusev was shown walking backstage for his appearance on Jerry Lawler’s talk show up next.
There was a sitdown promo from the AOP tag team Akam and Rezar. They said they were the newest tag team signed to Raw. They said they were signed to Raw to keep them from going to Smackdown. They talked about bringing pain to the other teams in the tag team division.
King’s Court with Rusev
Jerry Lawler was in the ring saying that in the past few weeks, we’ve seen a lot of Lana and Bobby Lashley, which has got the WWE Universe talking except for one man. Lawler introduced Lana’s husband Rusev.
Rusev made his entrance in a white shirt and jeans along with his mustache look. Rusev waved to the fans and greeted some of them on his way to the ring. Rusev shook Lawler’s hand as he got into the ring.
Lawler said that what goes on inside a marriage should stay inside that marriage, but in this case Rusev is a public figure along with Lana and Lashley. Lawler said they have made everything public and he doesn’t know how Rusev has withstood everything so far. Lawler noted that Lana complained about Rusev sending too much money to family in Bulgaria, Rusev has interfered with her modeling contracts and she complained about Rusev spending money on himself. The fans were chanting “What” so Rusev told the fans “hey, he’s a Hall of Famer, come on!” Good point! Lawler thanked him. Lawler said after all of what Rusev has seen, what is he thinking about when he sees this?
Rusev said it is all Lashley’s fault because he has poisoned Lana’s brain and for that, he will be crushed. Rusev said that he may be a fool, but he still wears his wedding band because he hopes they can get past through this and end up happily ever after.
There was a video interruption with Bobby Lashley and Lana at a restaurant. She was showing a lot of cleavage. That’s not a complaint, just an observation. Lashley said he could be there, but he can’t because his woman has needs. Lashley said he won’t make the same mistake as Rusev because she has needs and he’ll take care of them. Lana said dinner was delicious. Lana said she asked Rusev over and over again to take her to this restaurant, but Rusev would never do it, but her man Lashley does it because he’s a gentleman. Lana said she loved Lashley and Lashley said he loved her too. Lashley said it’s not New Year’s Eve, but out with the old, in with the new. Lana and Lashley said they loved eachother again. The video ended there. Rusev had a frustrated look on his face.
Rusev said he would like to deliver his message personally because he knows exactly where they are. The fans cheered as Rusev ran away and went up the ramp to the back.
Analysis: This feud has had a very slow build to it, which is a good thing because it gives them more of a story going into the eventual match they are going to have. It makes Rusev feel like a bit of a loser in saying he hopes she can come back to him. Move on, dude! She cheated. Anyway, that’s the natural reaction from the fans…and sane people like me. The cheating wife angle may not be a fresh story and it may piss off some fans, but it’s easy to see the character’s motivation when you have an angle like this. When Lashley was first making out with Lana a few weeks ago, Rusev stood in the ring doing nothing. At least now Rusev is willing to do something about it. I can only hope that it benefits Rusev and Lashley in the long run with Rusev becoming popular again like he was during the height of the “Rusev Day” angle.
Andrade was shown backstage getting a pep talk from Zelina Vega because he’s in a match up next.
Andrade entered with Zelina Vega with Vega doing a promo saying that Andrade’s music is like a siren to let his opponents know Andrade’s here. Vega did a promo talking trash about Sin Cara saying it was a man without a face, which is the translation for Sin Cara. That led to Sin Cara making his entrance after being out of action due to injury. They showed images of Sin Cara helping people in El Paso after the tragedy that happened there earlier this year.
Andrade (w/Zelina Vega) vs. Sin Cara
There was a dropkick by Sin Cara that sent him out of the ring and Cara hit a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Cara hit a cross body block off the top on Andrade for two. Humberto Carrillo was shown watching on a TV backstage. Vega grabbed the leg of Cara, which led to Andrade getting in some cheap kick attacks. Andrade with an elbow drop off the ropes for a two count. Cara with a headscissors takedown that sent Andrade to the floor. Sin Cara went up top and hit a perfect moonsault onto a standing Andrade on the floor.
The match returned with Cara hitting two back elbows, Andrade charged, Sin Cara moved and Andrade hit the turnbuckle. Cara with a springboard cross body block followed by a springboard moonsault press onto a standing Andrade for a two count. Andrade charged, but Sin Cara caught him and hit an overhead slam. Cara went up top for a Senton Bomb, Andrade moved and sent Cara face first into the turnbuckle. Andrade went for running knees, Cara moved, went for a headscissors and Andrade countered with a spinning slam for two. Andrade hit three vertical suplexes like Eddie Guerrero for a two count. The announcers say it was disrespect Eddie when he did a shoulder shake, but that’s just because Andrade is a heel. Andrade went up top, Cara stopped him, they battled on the turnbuckles and Cara hit a sunset flip into a Powerbomb for a two count. That was a great move. Cara up top, Andrade tripped him up and hit the running double knee attack against the turnbuckle for two. Vega complained to the referee about it. Andrade charged, but Cara gave him a back body drop over the top to the floor. Cara jumped over the top leading to a hurricanrana on the floor. Back in the ring, Vega distracted, Andrade sent Cara’s neck into the ropes and when the referee was looking at Andrade, Vega hit a somersault into a hurricanrana on Cara on the floor. That was impressive by her and great selling by Cara. Back in the ring, Andrade hit the Hammerlock DDT on Cara for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Andrade
Analysis: ***1/4 Very good match. That was a competitive match even though most of us expected Andrade to win and if they had a three-minute match that would have been understandable. I’m glad they had more time to have a good match because it was fun to watch and they have a lot of chemistry together. I also like how Vega always seems to get a cheap shot in during every Andrade match, which puts her over as a difference-maker as a manager. Andrade has a very bright future on Raw.
There was an interview with Raw newcomer Humberto Carrillo that was conducted by Charly Caruso. Carrillo said he had a lot of respect for Sin Cara and said Andrade with Zelina are awesome. Carrillo said that Andrade is a future Universal Champion unless Carrillo beats him to it. Carrillo said he knows he has a lot to prove, but when that happens he’ll be the best champion, not the kind of champion that plays with fire like Seth Rollins. Carrillo left.
Analysis: Carrillo is Latino, so his English isn’t great, but he got through it fine. The line about Rollins set up what was to come later.
Still to come is Seth Rollins and the six-man tag team match.
The Street Profits tag team of Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins were backstage for a promo. They mocked The OC with AJ Styles’ surfer/soccer mom hair, then they said The OC are mother lovers, but Dawkins said mothers love them more. Ford did a promo about how they are main eventing Raw. Dawkins said they aren’t coming alone and said it’s a surprise. Ford asked if it was somebody he knows like Ric Flair, but Dawkins said he’s at the afterparty, no Booker T, no Kurt Angle and Dawkins said this guy doesn’t like Styles. Ford ended it saying “we want the smoke.”
Analysis: The “we want the smoke” phrase is like saying they want a fight. I just wanted to clarify that.
R-Truth was shown backstage with the 24/7 Title and he was looking around nervously backstage. Samir Singh walked up to him saying he’s a famous actor, but then Sunil showed up with a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Truth while a referee was there to count the pin. The Singhs ran away with a title while Truth said he was seeing double.
Winner by pinfall and new 24/7 Champion: Sunil Singh
Analysis: I almost forgot the 24/7 Title still existed. If it went away, I don’t think I would miss it at all. This surprising ROLLUP OF DEATH~! spot is all the creative team seems to be able to think about when they remember the title.
The announcers went over the Crown Jewel lineup for October 31: Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt, Brock Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez, Team Hogan vs. Team Flair, Cesaro vs. Mansoor, Braun Strowman vs. Tyson Fury and 9-Team Tag Team Turmoil match. The full card is at the bottom of this post.
The Viking Raiders made their entrance as the new Raw Tag Team Champions. A clip was shown of their title win last week against Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode. The title change made sense since Ziggler and Roode were moved to Smackdown.
The team of Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins were interviewed backstage in the Gorilla Position. Ryder has a good tan. I’ll give him that much. Ryder said it’s a huge opportunity, Hawkins said they’ll get some victories and become winners instead of underdogs. They wondered if they would get pyro…but no they did not. They barely got a reaction from the crowd.
The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) vs. Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins
This is not for the Raw Tag Team Titles. Erik with a forearm to Ryder and a slam on Hawkins where he tossed him into Ryder. Ivar with a corner splash on Ryder, Erik with a forearm and Erik slammed Ivar into Ryder against the turnbuckle. Ivar with a suicide dive on Hawkins into the barricade. Ryder came back with a dropkick on Erik off the middle ropes. Double team neckbreaker by Hawkins/Ryder got a two count. Hawkins grounded Erik with a headlock, Ryder back in with a forearm and Erik broke free with a punch to Ryder. Ivar with a running shoulder tackle on Hawkins, a sidewalk slam and a running splash. Ivar charged, Hawkins moved, Hawkins charged and Ivar with a splash. Ivar with a cartwheel followed by a clothesline on Ryder. Ivar body slam on Hawkins, then Erik slammed Ivar on Hawkins. Ryder broke up the pin, so Erik hit Ryder with the knee to the face. Hawkins charged like a dumbass, so Erik tossed him in the air into a Viking Experience slam by Ivar for the pinfall win after four minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar)
Analysis: *1/2 It was an easy win to put over the undefeated new champions. Hawkins and Ryder got in a bit of offense, but this was another dominant showing to put over The Viking Raiders in a big way. I think long term the main Raw Tag Team Title feud will be Viking Raiders vs. AOP, but there’s no rush to do it yet. The Street Profits are another team that should be a factor as well.
The happy couple Lashley and Lana were shown in the restaurant. A manager went up to them asking them to leave because they heard Lana’s husband Rusev was going there. Lashley laughed about it and said that if he comes there then they will deal with it.
Rey Mysterio was shown walking backstage with his left arm still in a sling.
A commercial aired for Smackdown with Brock Lesnar and Cain Velasquez meeting face to face. It’s on Fox Sports 1 in the US for this week only because Fox has the MLB World Series. It’s probably going to be the least-watched Smackdown of the year due to the World Series.
It was back to the restaurant with Lashley and Lana when Rusev was shown arriving. Rusev grabbed Lashley, tossed him down and did some weak looking choking. Lana did some overacting that involved screaming. There were “cops” that showed up that looked like indy wrestlers in rent-a-cop Halloween outfits. Rusev was escorted out of the restaurant while Lana screamed that
Analysis: This was cheesy with the acting and the way the “cops” looked, but the actions from Rusev are understandable. If Rusev sits back and does nothing then he looks like a loser.
Let’s Hear from Rey Mysterio
Rey Mysterio made his entrance to a good pop from the crowd with Maddin calling him the greatest masked wrestler of all time. I would agree with that. Mysterio still has his left arm in a sling as mentioned earlier.
Mysterio said he has been training with Cain Velasquez and getting him ready to face Brock Lesnar for the WWE Title at Crown Jewel. Mysterio said he was there to say “thank you” from Rey, from his son Dominick, from his family for the outpouring of love that they have experienced and fans chanted “you deserve it” at him. Mysterio said that the love his family has experienced after what Brock Lesnar did to Rey and his son. Mysterio said that the outpouring of love that we have shown has humbled him and he’s honored for the love shown to him and his family. Mysterio said that the fans are his family. Mysterio said they will all celebrate together at Crown Jewel when Cain Velasquez wins the WWE Title and puts another scar on the face of that bastard Brock Lesnar.
Analysis: Rey has been cutting the best promos of his career of late. This was great.
Paul Heyman, the advocate of Brock Lesnar, was shown backstage doing a video on the Titantron. Heyman said that Mysterio knows Lesnar can’t be at Raw because he has been drafted to Friday Night Smackdown while Heyman can’t be drafted anywhere as a humble advocate. Heyman put over Cain Velasquez for beating Lesnar nine years ago and Mysterio thinks it will happen again at Crown Jewel. Heyman said that every morning for the last nine years, Lesnar sees the scar that has been carved into his face and soul by Cain Velasquez. For every day of those nine years, Lesnar has been salivating like a beast lusting for revenge. Heyman said that revenge comes on October 31st when Mysterio serves up Velasquez on a silver platter to Lesnar. Mysterio fired back with a bit of Spanish in the promo, which led to Shelton Benjamin making his entrance.
Shelton Benjamin said that Mysterio and his son get annihilated by Lesnar, so Velasquez goes to WWE because Mysterio can’t defend himself and Velasquez just gets a WWE Title shot? Mysterio said it doesn’t work that way because it’s a family thing. Benjamin got in the ring with Mysterio. Benjamin said he’s got a buddy too, his buddy is “The Beast” Brock Lesnar and at the University of Minnesota, he trained Brock Lesnar (that’s true) and he said Brock Lesnar is his family. Benjamin said that aside from Paul Heyman, there is nobody in WWE that knows Brock Lesnar better than him. Benjamin wondered what happens if he pushes Mysterio around and wondered if he gets a championship opportunity. Benjamin shoved Mysterio a few times, then asked where his buddy is now. Benjamin slapped Rey in the face three times and here comes Cain Velasquez to a good ovation from the crowd.
Cain Velasquez walked down to the ring in a black shirt and pants. He needs some of his own WWE merch like most wrestlers in the company. Velasquez got into the ring with Benjamin and Mysterio.
When Benjamin tried a takedown on Velasquez, Cain blocked him and slammed him down two times. Velasquez threw some weak looking punches while Benjamin covered up and Velasquez slapped on a chokehold. Benjamin tapped out quickly while Velasquez tossed him out of the ring. Mysterio and Velasquez celebrated in the ring. The fans did not give this a big reaction.
Analysis: It was a decent angle with Velasquez coming to the aid of his injured friend Mysterio, but the execution of the angle wasn’t very good. Benjamin did a good job of talking about his history as a friend of Lesnar and then also selling the attack. The problem with this was that Cain’s worked punches looked so weak. I get that Cain is still learning the pro wrestling business, but he needs to throw punches that look better than that. This was like watching some of those bad Shane McMahon punches. Anyway, as a story it was fine, but there was nothing that special about it in terms of what Cain did. They probably should have had Cain do a knockout punch or kick instead of what he did.
Seth Rollins, the Universal Champion, was interviewed backstage by Charly Caruso. Rollins said maybe The Fiend has gotten inside his head, but at least Seth found his way inside the Firefly Fun House. Rollins said that The Fiend is different, there’s a different aura about him and once you step in the ring with The Fiend, you’re changed forever. Rollins looked off in the distance, he walked away and went towards Humberto Carrillo. Rollins said he heard what Carrillo said earlier and Seth said burning the Firefly Fun House wasn’t what he wanted to do, but he did it because it was right and he would do it again. Rollins said he admired Carrillo wanting to be the Universal Champion, so he welcomed him to Raw and said his first match on Raw should be against the Universal Champion right now. Rollins left while Carrillo was excited.
Analysis: The promo from Rollins was fine. The fans hated the burning of the Firefly Fun House, but at least he tried to explain it by putting over how different The Fiend is.
There was a commercial from Total Divas, which featured overacting as usual.
There was a shot of some offensive linemen from the Cleveland Browns at ringside. One guy was dressed like Scott Steiner, who is not mentioned by WWE anymore.
A clip was shown from Riyadh Season in Saudi Arabia because Crown Jewel is in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Undertaker flew all the way to Saudi Arabia to appear on a parade float.
Analysis: WWE really loves that Saudi money. That’s my analysis.
Seth Rollins made his entrance with the Universal Championship. The announcers tried to put over the ovation that Rollins got, but it was not that big. Humberto Carrillo entered to not much of a reaction. He’s got a cape on for his entrance.
Seth Rollins vs. Humberto Carrillo
This is not for Seth’s Universal Championship. Carrillo with a pin attempt right away followed by two arm drags. Rollins slapped on a single leg crab, but Carrillo quickly got to the ropes. Carrillo with a hip toss, then a leap to the top and a cross body block got two for Carrillo. Rollins with a forearm, he tossed Carrillo out of the ring and Rollins hit a suicide dive into the barricade. Rollins whipped Carrillo into the barricade followed by a suplex on the floor. Rollins went back into the ring lead to a break.
The match returned with Rollins in control with some trash talk (“is that all you got?”) and a forearm to the face. Carrillo avoided a clothesline, went for a kick, Rollins ducked and Rollins chopped the back. Carrillo with a jawbreaker followed by a springboard kick to the head and a creative hip toss. Carrillo charged with a flipping attack over the top onto Rollins into the barricade. Back in the ring, Carrillo with a missile dropkick, Rollins moved and hit a Falcon Arrow for two. Rollins went up top and hit a jumping knee to the face for another two count. Rollins with a running forearm and a Buckle Bomb into the turnbuckle. Rollins with a superkick for yet another two count with Rollins looking frustrated after that nearfall. Rollins signaled for The Stomp leading to the “Burn It Down” chants, but Carrillo avoided it and got a rollup for two. Carrillo with two kicks to the face followed by a leaping DDT. Carrillo went up top and hit an incredible moonsault where he got a lot of height, which was good for a two count. Nice nearfall there. Carrillo went up top, he went for a moonsault again, Rollins got the feet up to block, Rollins with a kick and Rollins with The Stomp for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Seth Rollins
Analysis: ***1/4 That was a very good match with Carrillo getting a lot more offense than I expected. I understand why they did that to allow Carrillo to show what he can do, but this is one of those matches where if Rollins won in a more impressive fashion in less time it would have made Rollins look better. That’s not a major complaint because I like Carrillo and he has a bright future. I’m just saying sometimes a champion needs to look dominant in non-title matches.
Post match, Rollins left the ring. Rollins went back in the ring and he extended his hand. Carrillo shook it as a sign of respect. There were some boos from some fans that just don’t like Rollins right now.
Analysis: That’s a common ending to a babyface match like this. WWE has high hopes for Carrillo, so he’s a guy to keep an eye on in the future.
The OC trio of Styles, Gallows and Anderson were shown walking backstage for the main event.
R-Truth was shown walking backstage with a referee with Truth rolling up Samir Singh, but the referee said it was the wrong guy. Sunil showed up with the 24/7 Title and then they left.
This week on Smackdown on Fox Sports 1 (for those of you in the US): Bray Wyatt’s Firefly Fun House returns. That’s all they advertised.
The Street Profits duo of Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins made their entrance in red and white gear. They entered the arena by going into the card and Ford had his red cup with him. The fans were excited to see them, but it’s not like NXT where the crowd there had the red cups because this crowd didn’t have them.
Analysis: I’m excited about this team on Raw. They are a great team. Dawkins was in NXT for seven years, so he took a long time to get here. Ford is more of the standout on the team, but they are both good performers.
The OC trio of US Champion AJ Styles, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows made their entrance with a quick pyro display for them.
Styles did a promo on the stage asking the Profits where the third person was. Styles wondered if they were lying about it. Styles said maybe he’s invisible or imaginary. Styles said maybe the truth is they couldn’t find somebody to watch the Profits back after what The OC did last week. Another replay aired of The OC beating The Street Profits backstage on Raw last week. The OC walked towards the ring with the match set to begin after the break.
It turns out this is just a regular tag team match instead of a six-man tag team match even though it was teased as a six-man tag all weekend.
The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) vs. The OC’s Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson (w/AJ Styles)
Anderson was aggressive against Ford, who came back with punches and an impressive dropkick. Anderson left the ring, Dawkins sent him back in and Ford hit another dropkick. Anderson bailed to the floor to regroup. Dawkins tagged in, Anderson brought in Gallows and Dawkins hit a running shoulder tackle. Gallows with an elbow to the face followed by a kick to the head and an armbar by Gallows. Dawkins with a shoulder tackle to break free, Ford tagged in with a leaping clothesline on Anderson. Styles distracted, so Anderson tossed Ford over the top to the floor and Gallows hit a boot to the face. Anderson hit a running knee off the apron to the face of Ford on the floor.
The match returned with Ford as the face in peril with Gallows keeping him grounded in an armbar. Ford tried to tag out, but Gallows caught him and hit a fallaway slam across the ring. Anderson tagged back in with a headlock, then Gallows went back in with a kick to the ribs and then Ford/Gallows did a double clothesline spot. Anderson tagged in, Ford sent him out of the ring and Dawkins got the hot tag. Dawkins with two clotheslines, an uppercut on Anderson, a dropkick and a bulldog by Dawkins to Anderson. Dawkins hit corner splashes on each guy, Ford got the tag and Dawkins took out Gallows with a clothesline. Styles shoved Ford off the top into a spinebuster by Anderson for a two count. Great form on that spinebuster by Anderson. Ford was dumped out of the ring by Anderson, Styles grabbed Ford and the referee Chad Patton ejected Styles. That led to Kevin Owens making his entrance and he ran down to the ring, kick to the ribs of Styles and a KO Stunner on Styles. Ford hit a somersault dive over the top on Gallows. Dawkins tagged in with a sky-high spinebuster, Ford got the tag and hit a Frog Splash off the top on Anderson for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins)
Analysis: **1/2 It was just an average tag team match. The appearance from Owens drew a good pop and ended the match on a happy note. The crowd was into the finish of the match when Owens showed up, but they weren’t that interested before that. Ford’s Frog Splash looks very impressive because he gets a lot of height on that leap and it’s awesome to see it get the Street Profits their first win Raw. The Street Profits getting the win was the right call.
Post match, Owens was on the stage and he applauded the Street Profits on the victory.
The Street Profits went into the crowd to celebrate with the fans. That was the end of Raw for this week.
Analysis: Putting The Street Profits over in the main event gives them a lot of credibility right away. I just find it odd that WWE promoted a six-man tag and then didn’t do it for some reason. I guess they can probably do the six-man tag next week.
Three Stars of the Show
- Drew McIntyre
6.5 out of 10
Last week: 5.5
2019 Average: 5.84 (Smackdown is 6.71)
Last 5 Weeks: 5.5, 5.5, 6, 7,
2019 High: 8 (September 9)
2019 Low: 3.5 (May 27)
This week’s Raw gets a 6.5 out of 10.
This week’s Raw was a mixed bag because I think the in-ring action was very good for the most part. Any time you have three matches at the three-star level (aka good to great matches) or above is a positive thing. I don’t think storyline wise it was that interesting for the casual fan that may not appreciate in-ring action as much as some of us. The focus on this show seemed to be about some of the new Raw superstars like The Street Profits, Aleister Black, Andrade, Humberto Carrillo and getting Drew McIntyre back in the mix after he missed nearly two months. There was also progress made in the Rusev/Lashley/Lana story although it was a bit cheesy with the restaurant scene.
I thought the main event was just okay and the way The Street Profits were booked like big-time stars in their first Raw match is nice for them. However, I don’t think they needed to book it that way with Kevin Owens showing up so late. He could have just started the match with the team and done the six-man tag this week. I guess WWE felt that by making it a surprise it would build up anticipation. I really hope Owens has a very successful run as a face.
The women’s division was ignored because several women were in Australia on the Smackdown tour. Meanwhile, Becky Lynch was in LA at some ESPN Women’s Sport Summit. It sucks for the fans in Cleveland that wanted to see her, but that happens sometimes. They did a Natalya vs. Sarah Logan match that was taped on Main Event before Raw. Other than that, not a good night for the women’s division.
Lastly, I wish some of the current stars had the enthusiasm that Ric Flair has. We need more of that on the show.
The next WWE PPV is Crown Jewel on October 31. Here’s the official lineup so far.
WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Cain Velasquez
Falls Count Anywhere Match for the Universal Championship: Seth Rollins (c) vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt
Braun Strowman vs. Tyson Fury
Five on Five Tag Team Match: Team Hulk Hogan (Roman Reigns, Rusev, Ricochet, Ali and Shorty G) vs. Team Ric Flair (Randy Orton, Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley, Shinsuke Nakamura and Drew McIntyre)
Tag Team Turmoil Match: The New Day (Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods), Raw Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode, Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder), The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar), Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins, Heavy Machinery (Tucker and Otis), Lucha House Party (Kalisto, Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado), The OC (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson), and The B Team (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel).
Cesaro vs. Mansoor
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