It’s the Monday night after one of the strangest PPVs I can remember in over 30 years of being a WWE fan. Most of tonight’s content will be centred around last night’s TLC so, if you haven’t seen it, may I direct you to Jozef Raczka’s review – which you can find here.
All caught up? Good. The preview for tonight tells us we’ll be seeing Brock Lesnar. He’ll be responding to Jinder Mahal challenging him to a match at Survivor Series. Actually, all of the preview is about talk, there are no scheduled matches listed. We’re due to find out what will happen next for Asuka, Finn Balor (who seems to be the ‘Extraordinary Man’ on the preview), Enzo Amore, and Kane. They aren’t giving much away. Rumours abound of some big things tonight, so let’s find out.
I’m Amanda, and I’m here to make sure you don’t miss anything important on RAW.
Kurt Angle started things off, after an opening recap of last night’s multi-man main event. The crowd chanted ‘you’ve still got it’, I’m not sure they saw the match. Anyway. He talked about having started a new chapter by getting in the ring last night, then talked about Survivor Series. It’s RAW versus SmackDown Live again this year, and this is the card so far.
- Alexa Bliss vs Natalya
- Miz vs Baron Corbin
- Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins vs The Usos
- Brock Lesnar vs Jinder Mahal
There will also be two five-on-five elimination – traditional Survivor Series – matches, one men’s one women’s. Participants yet to be named.
Miz came out with Sheamus, Cesaro and Curtis Axel. He accused Angle of abusing his power to have one last run in the spotlight and said he should have made Ambrose and Rollins fight two on five. He thinks Angle doesn’t deserve to be there, as a superstar or GM, and should resign. Then they surrounded the ring. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins came down, through the crowd, to the Shield theme, and Miz et al backed off.
Angle then set the first match of the night, Miz, Sheamus and Cesaro, vs Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins… and AJ Styles.
Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and AJ Styles vs The Miz, Sheamus and Cesaro
What a great match to start RAW off. I kind of wish they’d done this for the Main Event last night, but then we wouldn’t have had Styles vs Balor, so maybe not. Ambrose has been revitalised by getting back into Shield black. He and Rollins are working so well together, and the addition of Styles is just icing on the cake. We even got a triple leap over the top rope onto their opponents.
So much action, and such a long match. It’s great when RAW delivers an opening match like this. Dean Ambrose got beaten up a lot, as is his way. Everything dissolved into a free for all a few times. Ambrose and Sheamus ended up in the crowd. Styles hit a Ushigoroshi on Cesaro for a two count – I’d love a Styles vs Cesaro program down the road. Cesaro got a two count on Styles from a uppercut.
After Ambrose and Rollins did a tandem suicide dive to keep Miz and Sheamus out of the way, Styles hit the Phenomenal Forearm on Cesaro for the win. Nice for Styles to get a win after losing out to Balor at TLC.
Got to be said, Ambrose looked a lot happier having Styles as a third man, than he did about Angle.
Kane showed up at the end of the match and faced off against the winners. He tossed Styles out of the ring, then destroyed Ambrose and Rollins with support for Miz and friends.
The rest of the ‘action’
- Kane talked about Braun Strowman. He said he is RAW’s only Monster. Then he demanded competition and got Finn Balor.
- Finn Balor vs Kane – Decent enough match. Standard David and Goliath stuff for the most part, except this time Goliath won. Despite Balor’s best efforts, Kane gave him three chokeslams and pinned him.
- Shane McMahon appeared in an office segment with Kurt Angle. They played my roster is better than your roster.
- Asuka made her RAW debut, in a TLC rematch against Emma. A lot of people complained their match at TLC was too long, I disagree but think tonight’s should have been shorter. Good match, same result. Emma tapped to the Asuka lock.
- Alexa Bliss said Mickie James is now in her past, then talked about Survivor Series. She then told the crowd she feels unappreciated. After accusing the entire crowd of being jealous, she tried to get them to call and response a ‘you deserve it’ chant. It didn’t go well. Luckily, Mickie James appeared, kicked Bliss, DDT’d her – all while wearing the highest heels I’ve ever seen – and told her she deserved it.
- Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Alicia Fox were put in a match to decide the captain for the women’s survivor series match by Kurt Angle. Fox has gone full scale ‘crazy girl’ now. That’s going to end up straddling the line between amusing and annoying.
- Elias insulted everyone as usual. He had some technical issues with his song, which, unsurprisingly, turned out to be caused by Jason Jordan.
- Jason Jordan vs Elias – Another rematch from TLC. Last night, Jordan got the win. Technically, he won tonight as well. Elias hit him with a guitar, after just a few minutes, and got disqualified. Jason Jordan was helped from the arena by medics, sporting a nasty looking bruise on his arm.
- Brock Lesnar – I suppose this could have been given its own segment, except nothing really happened. Paul Heyman talked a lot. He trash-talked Jinder Mahal and pointed out he hadn’t trashed those of Brock’s opponents he considered worthy, but Mahal is not one of them. They don’t have to fight for brand supremacy because ‘the brand that brags Brock Lesnar’ is the supreme brand. Obviously, he accepted the match on Lesnar’s behalf. He finished by reminding every one of the Randy Orton match – like anyone has forgotten all that blood.
- Kalisto had a backstage interview about his loss at TLC. He’s invoking his rematch clause on 205 live tomorrow. He was joined by his team for the cruiserweight ten-man tag later.
- Kalisto, Mustafa Ali, Cedric Alexander, Gran Metalik, and Rich Swann, vs Enzo Amore, Noam Dar, Drew Gulak, Tony Nese and Ariya Daivari. Enzo still had no voice, small mercies, Drew Gulak read Enzo’s usual spiel, in his own unique manner. It was everything you’d expect from a ten-man tag – bodies everywhere, total chaos, very impressive in places, and a bit messy. Kalisto pinned Enzo off the Salida del Sol.
Sasha Banks vs Bayley vs Alicia Fox
The battle for the honour of captaining the Survivor Series team. It was good. Alicia Fox was the main aggressor early on. After a while, Banks and Bayley teamed up to throw her out of the ring. Every time Bayley and Banks went to fight amongst themselves Fox tried to get back in and they threw her out again.
When we came back from an ad break, Bayley was nowhere to be seen, and Fox and Banks were fighting it out. Bayley came back in time to fulfil the ‘tower of doom’ spot requirement.
Fox had Bayley laid out in the ring, and Banks laid out at ringside when she got out of the ring screaming ‘I don’t want to play this game’, got the ring bell and started ringing it. It nearly cost her the match, but Sasha Banks broke up Bayley’s pin attempt.
Alicia Fox won the match after imitating Bayley while stood behind her, hitting Bayley with the Bayley to belly, and fighting out of the Bank Statement. She used Banks as a weapon by throwing her into Bayley, then pinned Bayley.
The closing segment – Under Siege
So, we were to see the show out, the way we saw it in, with Kurt Angle talking. Except, before he had time to announce the five-man Survivor Series team, Shane McMahon’s music hit and McMahon came through the crowd, with what looked like most of the SmackDown Live roster.
The first words out of McMahon’s mouth were ‘Under Siege’. Kurt Angle looked shocked, left the ring, and walked up the ramp. Shane McMahon sent the roster after him.
The SmackDown Live crew roamed through the backstage area beating up everyone they found, even the women’s divisions got to have a go. SmackDown Live laid out everyone. Rollins and Ambrose tried an ambush, the only ones to try offence, and got destroyed.
Eventually, Kurt Angle was dragged back to the ring to face Shane O’Mac.
McMahon told Angle to bring his gold medal, and what’s left of his roster, to Survivor Series, and they would finish what they started.
And that was RAW. There seemed to be a lot going on, and most of it was good. I wish I could say that every week, although the last few weeks have been relatively strong. It definitely seems like the mumps outbreak has encouraged them to step things up. I just wonder how much had to be changed to make up for the absence of Reigns especially, and what we’d have got without the illnesses. I guess we’ll never know for sure.