Welcome back to the WWE Raw Reaction where I offer up my take on this week’s show. As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth review here.
A Hell In A Cell recap opens us up before that horrible new Raw theme plays. Not sure why it had to change but not a good one. Drew McIntyre kicks the show off with a promo about losing the WWE Title last night before The Miz and John Morrison interrupt. Typical annoying banter between Miz and Morrison until McIntyre tires of them and wipes them both out. McIntyre says he has an idea for later to end the segment. Miz and Morrison do their best as annoying over the top heels but they need to be presented more seriously instead of jokes since Miz has the Money in the Bank briefcase now.
The first match of the evening is a Men’s Team Raw Survivor Series Qualifying Match between AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy. We still don’t know why Styles has Jordan Omogbehin in his corner since Raw Underground closed. We are treated to a good match between these two who know each other very well. Styles picked up the win with very little help from Omogbehin. The Styles/Omogbehin pairing feels odd given the massive height difference between the two. We’ll see if we can get a good explanation on the pairing or if Creative just forgets where they are going with it. After the match, Elias shows up and blasted Jeff Hardy with a guitar partially for payback from their Hell in a Cell match and because the feud must go on.
WWE 24/7 Title hijinks is on tap next as R-Truth was “scouting” the tag match between the four guys who have been recently chasing him for the title, Drew Gulak/Akira Tozawa vs. Lucha House Party (Lince Dorado/Gran Metalik). The meaningless match ended with a cool looking top rope cross body block from Dorado onto Gulak. Then the 24/7 title was up for grabs. After a few near falls, Truth runs to the back. We just needed to kill some time here folks. It’s a three-hour show after all.
The Firefly Funhouse is up next with Alexa Bliss arriving for a tea party. Bliss kills Ramblin Rabbit with arsenic, because he’s a very less funny Kenny. At least South Park killed Kenny in different ways and situations. Inside the Funhouse limits those opportunities. Bliss continued her Sister Abigail transformation and The Fiend graphics appeared to Let Him In because Bliss has Randy Orton as her guest on A Moment of Bliss later. Oh look, the rabbit is still alive, so Wyatt kills him again (sigh). Wyatt and Bliss say bye and wave to end the segment. This wasn’t one of their better Funhouses and the rabbit dying every week just isn’t funny anymore.
Keith Lee is backstage with Charly Caruso for a quick interview saying he’s ready to walk with Elias and he isn’t done with Braun Strowman.
WWE Not Commissioner Adam Pierce is backstage when the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler approach with different lists for the Women’s Survivor Series match, since there aren’t going to be qualifying matches like the men get. Are there even enough women to hold qualification matches? Anyway, Pierce said he’ll take it under advisement and let everyone know later tonight his decision. Can we just make him the Commissioner already?
Elias is out complaining that Jeff Hardy tried to end his career by hitting him with a car despite the fact that the suspect description fits Sheamus to a T. I wonder if Creative will remember that at some point? Anyway, he shills his new album that just dropped and I’ll hand it to him to learning and living the gimmick. Keith Lee is out because he’s ready to walk over Elias in this Men’s Survivor Series Qualifying Match. Elias was more competitive in this than he should have been since we all know Lee is winning. The old “Let’s play someone’s music to distract him” finish is done as Hardy’s music plays to distract Elias long enough for Lee to obliterate him with the Spirit Bomb. After the match, Hardy returns the guitar shot and we are likely heading for a Guitar on a Pole Match.
The Hurt Business was backstage bullying some guy over a bathroom. I thought they were faces though. They’ve turned more than Kane and Big Show combined. Anyway, Be A Star guys.
The Hurt Business take on Retribution in an eight-man elimination tag match next. Instead of getting a great match where Retribution can try to salvage some shred of credibility, we get a really lame match with even lamer eliminations. MVP was eliminated first by the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! after Reckoning (Mia Yim) was having some sort of freakout episode in the ring, later saying she was possessed. Mia deserved better. Lashley murdered Slapjack again, but with the spear instead. Lashley got the protected double countout elimination by fighting with T-Bar all the way to the back. Two on Two now and Mace is eliminated quickly before Ali gets disqualified for hitting Alexander with a chair. Afterward, MVP declared they are looking for more gold, likely John Cena’s Golden Shovel.
I’m still trying to figure out why The Hurt Business is being booked so freaking strong. If The Hurt Business wants all of the gold in WWE, wouldn’t Lashley want to be WWE Champion instead of the midcard champ? They’ve steamrolled over Ali, Ricochet, Apollo Crews, and Alexander for months before Apollo Crews got lucky and drafted to Smackdown to start over again. Ali aligned with Retribution only to get steamrolled. Ricochet pulled an Eddie Guerrero to get away from them. The Hurt Business ruined Raw Underground on its first night. These four should be putting over new talent and not steamrolling them. Even Super Cena wasn’t this bad. I just don’t get it.
Angel Garza was shown backstage hitting on contracted talent and not some random outsider. It’s progress, I guess and still don’t care.
Drew McIntyre was out to massacre The Miz next. John Morrison was no real help on the outside. It was funny watching McIntyre chuck the Money in the Bank briefcase up to the stage. If only Otis was there to catch it. Miz and Morrison bump like Kirby and McIntyre picks up the easy win and Miz looks just like every other Money in the Bank winner, a big loser.
The New Day was backstage imitating The Street Profits to run down the Survivor Series card and Asuka shows up. She fits right into the skit and we are not ready for Asuka. Please give her another 500-day title reign. We are just not worthy of her brilliance.
McIntyre gets a graphic telling us his name since he was JUST ON and bumps into Charly backstage. McIntyre seems interested in the A Moment of Bliss segment later. He might be in the slim majority.
Adam Pierce is in the ring with Pat Buck to announce the Women’s Survivor Series team, comprising of Jax and Baszler, Mandy Rose, Dana Brooke, and the winner of the fatal four way match that was next between Lana, Lacey Evans, Peyton Royce, and Nikki Cross. Speaking of God awful music changes, what happened to Cross’s? Totally does not fit her gimmick at all. Lana is just out of place in this match. Peyton Royce looks totally lost without Billie Kay by her side. Evans is back to her heel persona to work on it. Cross deserves the exposure of the Survivor Series match so they cave the spot to Lana instead. Jax sends the fans home happy by putting Lana through the announce table for the sixth week in a row. We can all rejoice. Jax found a move she can do safely. Yay!
Charly caught up to Orton backstage and he said he’s not afraid of The Fiend appearing tonight.
Retribution is backstage and Ali proclaims that despite their booking, they are not jokes but on a mission. Your mission should be to end the feud with The Hurt Business and starting picking up wins over people that matter in a different feud. Perhaps they can go back to NXT?
Main event time with Sheamus taking on Matt Riddle in the final Men’s Survivor Series Qualifying Match for tonight. The match itself was very good and hard-hitting. Sheamus qualified for the spot but it could have easily gone either way. I hope there are a couple of more matches between the two.
A Moment of Bliss closes out Raw this week with Randy Orton as the guest. Orton demands Bliss tell him where The Fiend is and McIntyre shows up to fight. Bliss just sits on the turnbuckle laughing enjoying her front row seat to the fight before the lights go out Fiend style. Lights come back on and Bliss is gone, McIntyre is in the ring, Orton is on the ramp, and The Fiend is on the stage. Orton rushes back to the ring to fight McIntyre while The Fiend just disappears. Raw goes off the air with Orton and McIntyre still fighting. The new Bliss character is intriguing and it’ll be interesting to see where it goes with her and The Fiend. This is the first time I’ve ever found Bliss remotely interesting and I’m curious what her new character has in store for us. McIntyre and Orton are destined for a rematch soon but will The Fiend make it a three way?
Let’s look at tonight’s highs and lows:
The New Day/Asuka skit to run down the Survivor Series card was really entertaining and I’d like to see the trio team up some more in the future. Asuka is a national treasure.
The Men’s Survivor Series Qualification Matches were the main focus tonight and all three matches delivered. The Sheamus/Riddle match is a definite must see.
The Hurt Business has killed off another set of superstars. Retribution is officially dead. They needed a dominant win in the elimination tag match and all we got was protected eliminations for The Hurt Business and terrible eliminations for Retribution. It’s time they go their separate ways.
Lana winning the fatal four-way qualification match was disappointing. Peyton Royce or Nikki Cross would have been better choices. Let’s see who is on the Smackdown team to see how they’ll size up. Are there even five women on Smackdown?
I know I’ve been gone for a bit, but I’m going to be back more regularly and trying out a couple of other ideas as well. Stay safe out there. That’s all I’ve got, until next time.