by Amanda Why
Tonight RAW is recorded, from Manchester, as part of the current UK tour, and we all know what that means – spoilers. Yup, by the time RAW started, most of us already knew the results. But, it’s only a couple of times a year that it’s not live, so we shouldn’t complain too much.
Tour shows are always slightly odd. Something out of the ordinary usually happens, and sometimes they feel like they’re trying a bit too hard. It looks like a good episode though. The preview says we’re getting Miz TV, with Kurt Angle, Jason Jordan vs Elias – in a guitar on a pole match, and the tease of a title match, amongst other things.
I’m Amanda, and I’m here to make sure you catch all the important stuff from RAW.
The Opening Bit
After a lengthy recap of last week’s return of Braun Strowman and his destruction of the Miztourage, the show kicked off with Miz TV. He started with a long diatribe about his Survivor Series opponent, Baron Corbin, then introduced Kurt Angle as his guest.
They talked about Stephanie McMahon’s return, and her threat to replace Angle as GM. Angle said he’s not going anywhere, Shane McMahon has got an inferiority complex because SmackDown has always been the B show, and Miz showed forage of SmackDown’s attack on RAW.
Miz accused Angle of setting Kane on Daniel Bryan last week, and knowing that Braun Strowman was going to attack them. Angle got shouty, and Miz backed off. He asked Angle why Strowman was rewarded for attacking him, by being named in the Survivor Series team.
To answer, and finish the segment, Angle told Miz he’d had to negotiate with Strowman to be RAW captain. His price was a match, against Miz, tonight. Angle walked away from a pleading Miz.
The Rest of the Show
– Guitar on a Pole match – Elias had to do with his opening bit with no guitar, but that didn’t stop him singing a little song about how awful Manchester is until Jordan came out. They had a match, they’re both very good. I wish I cared more. Elias got the guitar, then Jordan had it, then Elias had it. Then Jason Jordan hit Elias with it to win the match. It wasn’t long, but it was too long.
– Cesaro and Sheamus tried to convince Angle that Ambrose and Rollins aren’t worthy of the titles. Angle told them to man up and ask for a match, they did and got one. I wish they’d let Sheamus do the talking while Cesaro has the gum shield in.
– Asuka vs Stacey Coates (Isla Dawn) – Standard squash match. Alicia Fox named Asuka as part of the women’s Survivor Series team at the end of the match.
– Titus O’Neil vs Samoa Joe – made as a result of Joe attacking O’Neil after his match with Crews last week. Joe started things while O’Neil was on the stage. He shoved Apollo Crews off the stage, the slapped O’Neil into the coquina clutch on the ramp. No match. O’Neil got longer in the pre-match interview than out in the arena. Joe walked to the ring and said it doesn’t matter if you’re as powerful as O’Neil, or as athletic as Crews if you’re in his way he’ll put you down. Then he asked anyone who wants to challenge him to come on down. Finn Balor answered the challenge.
– Finn Balor vs Samoa Joe – They did some good stuff in NXT, so I’m into this. This match got a really good amount of time. And it thoroughly deserved it. If you only watch one bit of RAW, consider making it this bit. It finished in a double count-out after Balor dived over the ropes onto Joe, and Joe launched him halfway up the ramp. They carried on fighting after the count out until split up by officials. Kurt Angle came out and added them both to the Survivor Series team, then Balor jumped off the stage onto Joe again.
– Bo Dallas gave Miz an inspirational speech about the ways in which they are superior to Braun Strowman, focussing on their intellect and strength in numbers. Axel suggested they just leave instead, then reluctantly said if they’re not afraid he’s not either. He wasn’t convincing.
– Jason Jordan officially added to the Survivor Series team. Angle said there is no-one he trusts more than his own son. The team is Kurt Angle, Braun Strowman, Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, and Jason Jordan.
– Bayley and Sasha Banks interviewed before their match against Nia Jax and Alicia Fox and said they both want to join them on the women’s Survivor Series team.
– Alicia Fox and Nia Jax vs Sasha Banks and Bayley – Classic tour show match to get as much talent on as possible. Another match was given, and deserving of, a decent amount of time. We’ve seen too many nonsensical tag matches as filler recently, but this was pretty good. Nia Jax was dominant, but with Survivor Series on the horizon, everyone was made to look strong. Sasha Banks won for her team, with the Bank Statement on Alicia Fox. After the match, Fox put Banks on the Survivor Series team, but not Bayley. There’s still one space open though, it’s a choice between Bayley, Mickie James, and Dana Brooke.
– Miz vs Braun Strowman – Miz ran away a lot, got thrown around a bit – including into the ring post, and got slammed into the mat. Bo Dallas was punched out at ringside, and Curtis Axel was flung into the barricade by his neck brace. Miz was thrown onto them just as they regrouped. Who knows how long it would have gone on if Kane hadn’t interrupted Strowman’s fun. They had a bit of a scrap. Strowman prevented Kane’s chokeslam and gave him the running power slam. Kane sat up. Strowman knocked him out of the ring and was attacked from behind by Miz and Bo Dallas. Braun Stroman destroyed both of them.
– Highly entertaining interview by Renee Young, with Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. They were talking about the match with Sheamus and Cesaro but seemed mainly to be trying to make each other laugh.
– Brock Lesnar announced for next week’s RAW.
– Alexa Bliss said she’s going to run circles around Natalya at Survivor Series, and talked about how great she is.
– The WWE UK division was invited to appear on 205 Live tomorrow.
Enzo Amore vs…
This had to get its own segment. Sorry, UK bias or whatever, meh, it’s my review. Enzo Amore did his usual spiel, and, in a long winded and rambling way, said that people keep asking what’s next for him. Apparently, a child was disappointed that Amore will be facing Kalisto again, or something, I don’t know, it was all very Enzo. Kalisto came out and took a seat at ringside for no apparent reason.
Then, just as the will to live was being lost, Pete Dunne’s name flashed up on the screen. Kurt Angle came to the stage and announced it would be cruiserweight versus Bruiserweight, and introduced the UK Champion. Weird having his name flash up before Angle came out, but the crowd were still psyched to see him and gave him one of the biggest pops of the night. Pete Dunne on RAW is undeniably cool. Getting to watch him beat up Enzo Amore, even more so. If, somehow, you’re not familiar with Dunne, check out the UK Championship on WWE Network, NXT TakeOver Chicago, and just about any UK indie company (may I recommend Progress).
The match wasn’t long. But Enzo Amore got punched in the face and beaten, so it’s all good. Commentary talked Dunne up, making comparisons to Fit Finlay and William Regal. Enzo had a go at a couple of wrestling moves. Amore almost pinned Dunne, but Kalisto told the ref his feet were on the ropes. Pete Dunne celebrated his RAW debut with a win via The Bitter End.
Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins (C) vs Sheamus and Cesaro – RAW Tag Team Championship match
During the entrances, it was announced that Roman Reigns will be back next week, and the Shield will reunite. It’ll be interesting to see what they choose to do with them now the reason for their reformation has passed. But that’s for next week.
This week, the title match closed out the show. Sheamus and Cesaro came out wearing Liverpool shirts, nice easy way to get booed by a Manchester crowd. The rivalry between these teams has been superb, great chemistry. This match was no exception. All the expected spots, plenty to send the crowd home on a high.
Ambrose took the most punishment, as seems to be his job in most matches. He got double teamed on the outside and sent into the barricade, which looked like it should have finished his match. Rollins got double teamed in the ring, but Cesaro only got a two-count. Ambrose came back in just in time to save Rollins from the next double team attempt. Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds on Sheamus, Rollins followed up with a Frogsplash, Cesaro broke it up by bowling over Ambrose…
Then, New Day’s music hit, and they emerged into the crowd. While New Day was talking about RAW’s lack of retaliation for their attack, Kurt Angle was rallying the troops backstage. The entire RAW roster emerged to ringside, and New Day left.
In the confusion, Sheamus blindsided Seth Rollins with a Brogue Kick, and Cesaro prevented Ambrose from making the save. New tag team champions, The Bar.
Once the Guitar on a Pole debacle was over, the standard of matches was really high tonight. There were a lot of people on the show, but that’s a tour show for you. With the announcement of Reigns return next week, and Ambrose and Rollins having lost their titles due to New Day, I think a Shield vs New Day match is a good bet for Survivor Series. Finn Balor versus Samoa Joe was great tonight, as was the tag title match, but. Pete Dunne’s debut stole the show for me. All in all, a fun episode of RAW.