raw logo 900 400

The RAW Recap – 18/09/2017

It’s Monday night again. Time for another three hours of whatever WWE feels like giving us the best WWE has to offer. This week is the ‘go home’ show for No Mercy, so it should be packed to the rafters with great stuff. The preview tells us to expect more Cena and Reigns, more Enzo and Miz, more Braun Strowman, more tag team shenanigans, and Alexa Bliss vs Nia Jax. So far, it sounds awfully familiar. Considering the PPV card, I’d expect to see Finn Balor and Bray Wyatt in there too at some point.

I’m Amanda, and I’ll be your guide through WWE’s flagship show this week.

The show opened with Kurt Angle talking about the No Mercy card. Before he’d got more than a couple of matches in, Miz and the ‘Miztourage’, without Maryese, headed out to the ring. Miz accused Angle of overlooking his biggest star (him) again, and pointed out that there is no Intercontinental title match on the No Mercy card.

Angle said Miz had interrupted too soon and announced a match between Jason Jordan, Matt and Jeff Hardy, and Elias with the winner to face Miz at No Mercy. Miz said that Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel deserved the place more than Jordan, and accused him of nepotism.

All photos: WWE.com

After a bunch of bad father based insults, Jason Jordan came out to join the party and threatened to knock Miz’ teeth down his throat. Then he suggested to Kurt that he should add Dallas and Axel to the match. Angle agreed, turning the four-way into a six-pack challenge. Miz reminded Jordan that more people give him less chance of winning, and told him he was more incompetent than his father.

Jordan jumped on Miz, the Miztourage pulled him away, then Jordan cleared the ring.

After the ad break, Kurt Angle caught Jason Jordan backstage and told him to focus on his opportunity. Jordan said people have been whispering behind his back about them, and he was going to shut them up. Angle delivered a lecture about it sometimes being stronger not to fight back, before telling him to win the match, then beat Miz. And thankfully, we’re done with that segment.

Alexa Bliss vs Nia Jax

Former best friends collided next. Non-title of course.

Bliss started the match by being evasive and escaping the ring, then trying a waist lock on Jax before ending up outside again. She managed to knee Jax in the head while being held over her head, but it only made Jax drop her, and Bliss ran away again.

She got halfway up the ramp before Sasha Banks came out. As Alexa Bliss ran back towards the ring, she ran right into Jax and got flattened. By the time we came back from the ads, they were back in the ring, with Banks at ringside.

Bliss evaded the splash into the corner, with Jax running into the ring post, but as she went to dive off the top turnbuckle, Jax caught her in midair and gave her the Samoan drop for the win. Sasha Banks tired her luck next, and jumped on Jax’ back, but was quickly thrown to the canvas.

Bayley’s music hit, and a non-smiley Bayley came down to the ring. She had a little stare-down with Jax, then Bayley, Banks and Bliss hit Jax with a three-way tackle. After Jax left them to it Bayley and Banks had a hug, Bliss got in the middle, and Sasha Banks and Bayley laid her out.

NOTE: It was announced during the show that Bayley has been added to the women’s championship match at No Mercy.

Tributes to Bobby Heenan from WWE superstars next – the tributes were interspersed throughout the show. They did eventually come up with a video package, halfway through hour three, with some nice moments in it. Heenan was a legend, and an icon of my childhood. He will be sorely missed. RIP.

Sheamus and Cesaro vs Anderson and Gallows

Cesaro and Sheamus trash talked about their No Mercy opponents, Ambrose and Rollins, calling them a nostalgia trip, like the Hardy’s. They said once the nostalgia fades they’ll realise they can’t stand each other.

Of course, Rollins and Ambrose had to come out and have their say. They’re brothers apparently, and brothers sometimes fight but always have each other’s backs. After dissing Cesaro and Sheamus’ outfits – easy target – Gallows and Anderson appeared, they were supposed to be in the match after all.  Gallows and Anderson called Ambrose and Rollins nerds. Ambrose took offence and went for Luke Gallows. The inevitable free for all broke out and the tag champs (the only people not supposed to be having a match right then) cleared the ring.

During the ad break, the match became a three-way tag match. Pretty decent match. All three teams work well with, and against, each other. Ambrose ended up in the barricade a couple of times, once courtesy of a Cesaro Swing. Rollins took a Magic Killer from G&A, and a double team from Sheamus and Cesaro. Ambrose and Rollins did a couple of double suicide dives.

Dean Ambrose hit Dirty deeds on Karl Anderson, not realising Sheamus was the legal man. Sheamus threw Ambrose out of the ring and stole the pin. That was a long match. Fun and entertaining, but long.

Other stuff that happened

  • Video packages for Lesnar vs Strowman, and Reigns vs Cena ahead of No Mercy. WWE are good at these packages, you’ve got to give them that. The story of Roman Reigns’ and John Cena’s careers being in some way parallel was an interesting idea, and not without limited merit. But I didn’t need to relive the last couple of weeks of mic work from the two of them.
  • Miz sucks at motivational speeches. Bo Dallas pointed it out when Miz was ranting about Angle and Jordan. Axel said he won’t take it easy on Miz if he wins. Bo Dallas said he looks forward to stealing the show with Miz if he wins.
  • Goldust appeared, makeup-free, to ask Kurt Angle for another match against Bray Wyatt, as Dustin Rhodes. He looks odd in the suit without the paint. He got the match. He wrestled the match without paint – man he looks like his dad. Short match. Wyatt won, which I guess makes sense ahead of Sunday, but what are they doing to poor Goldust/Dustin Rhodes. Finn Balor appeared on screen after the match, and told a story about being a little boy who felt different, who grew up into a man who created a demon to control his pain and anger. And if the man created the demon, who is more dangerous? Apparently, Bray will find out on Sunday.
  • Curt Hawkins said his star factory is closed and his history machine will take its place. He’s now healthy and going to bring his 114 match losing streak to an end. His opponent was Apollo Crews. Hawkins was wrong, he’s up to 115 matches now.
  • Paul Heyman (with Brock Lesnar) and Braun Strowman had their final words before No Mercy. Heyman called Strowman ‘the most capable challenger to ever come after Brock Lesnar’s Universal Championship’. Strowman said he’s going ‘walk into suplex city and stomp it to the ground’. Many, many, words were said. Lesnar thanked Strowman for challenging him, because that’s when he’s at his best, added ‘suplex city bitch’, for good measure. And that was that.
  • The Hardy’s said they had no problem fighting each other in the match tonight, they’ve been doing it all their lives.
  • Enzo Amore came out to talk about his cruiserweight match this Sunday. He was bulldozed by Braun Strowman, thrown into the ring to a chorus of ‘thank you Strowman’. Amore too a chokeslam and a running powerslam from Strowman. If that’s what it takes to shut Enzo up, I’m fine with it. Neville came out as Strowman was leaving, and gave him a wide berth. In the trainer’s room, with ice on his ribs, Amore still said he was taking Neville’s title on Sunday.
  • Neville had a match against Gran Metalik. We weren’t given a reason to care about the extremely talented individuals in the ring. Neville tried to unmask Metalik, and nearly succeeded. Good match, if a touch short. Neville kicked Metalik in the face as Metalik tried to land a moonsault, then locked in the Rings of Saturn for the win.

Roman Reigns got to cut an uninterrupted promo in the ring. He said he doesn’t walk, talk or look like Cena. He’s not a jacked up white guy with a giant head and a military crew cut. If he did he wouldn’t have a career here, ask Alex Riley. When he says something, it means something. John Cena is the biggest hypocrite to ever step in a WWE ring. He used a Cena promo on The Rock being a part-timer from 2012 as evidence. Reigns asked the crowd if they wanted to bring Cena out, then told them he wasn’t there. He said the result would be same as it was at that WrestleMania, except this time Cena would be beaten by a different Samoan.

The main event – Jason Jordan vs Matt Hardy vs Jeff Hardy vs Elias vs Bo Dallas vs Curtis Axel – to face Miz for the Intercontinental title

Elias started with a song, well he tried to. Not long after he started singing the rest of the competitors came out. Miz sat at ringside throughout.

Usual chaos and pairing off of a multi-man match to start with. Matt and Jeff Hardy squared up to each other, just as we went for an ad break. By the time we came back, Elias was in control. After an impressive jump onto the top rope, Axel and Dallas pushed him to the outside.

There was the obligatory multi-person ‘tower of doom’ spot. Matt Hardy tried to pin Jeff. Everyone tried to best Jason Jordan, who did some yelling and some suplexes. Miz threw Jordan into, then over, the barricade when Dallas and Axel had chucked him out of the ring. Miz also climbed into the ring after Jeff Hardy hit a Swanton Bomb on Curtis Axel, and broke up the pin. Hardy threw Miz out of the ring.

Jason Jordan won the match after a neckbreaker on Curtis Axel.

Post-match Miz and Jason Jordan had a staredown. Miz went for the punch, took a couple of belly to belly’s, then The Miztourage beat down Jason Jordan before handing him to Miz for the Skull Crushing Finale. Miz told Jason Jordan he would still be the champ after No Mercy, Kurt Angle would still be a terrible father, and Jordan would still be a bastard.

It’s not until you review a show like RAW that you realise how much filler there is. I seem to enjoy RAW more than a lot of reviewers, and tonight was probably no exception. I don’t understand the reasoning behind adding Bayley to the No Mercy match, but I don’t hate it. They built up the Stownman vs Lesnar match well. Miz vs Jason Jordan makes as much sense as it was ever going to. Roman Reigns got the last word on John Cena, by virtue of Cena not being there to answer back. All in all, not a bad show for the ‘go home’ to No Mercy.

Confirmed card for No Mercy

Brock Lesnar (C) vs Braun Strowman – Universal Championship match

Alexa Bliss (C) vs Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax vs Emma vs Bayley – RAW Women’s Championship match

Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins vs Cesaro and Sheamus – RAW Tag Team Championship match

John Cena vs Roman Reigns

Finn Balor vs Bray Wyatt

Neville (C) vs Enzo Amore – Cruiserweight Championship match

Miz vs Jason Jordan – Intercontinental Championship match