It’s the go home show for Survivor Series. Stephanie McMahon and Brock Lesnar are due to visit. Alexa Bliss will be naming the women’s team for the five on five elimination match. And Baron Corbin will decide who joins Drew McIntyre, Dolph Ziggler, and Braun Strowman on the men’s team, if he can stay out of Strowman’s clutches long enough.
I’m Amanda, and I’m here to guide you through the RAW before Survivor Series.
Tamina def. Ember Moon via pinfall
Finn Balor def. Dolph Ziggler via pinfall
Bobby Roode and Chad Gable won the Tag Team Battle Royal to decide Survivor Series captains
Bobby Lashley def. Elias via count out for the final Survivor Series team place
Sasha Banks vs Bayley was declared no contest due to interference
The Best Bits
» The show started with a tag team Battle Royal containing all RAW tag teams, to determine the captains for the tag match at Survivor Series. Well, sort of. It had barely started when Braun Strowman arrived and decimated everyone. Once everyone was laid out, Strowman said, ‘tonight’s Monday Night RAW episode is brought to you by the monster among men’. He’s done chasing Baron Corbin around and he’s not leaving the ring until Corbin ‘Gets These Hands’.
Stephanie McMahon came out and told Strowman she understood he was upset about what Baron Corbin did and he has every right to be, but he can’t hold RAW hostage. She appreciates all the aggression and rage, but she needs him to channel it for Survivor Series. Shane insulted the entire RAW locker room when he stole the World Cup and declared himself the best in the world. Is he going to let…
Strowman rounded on her and said he doesn’t give a damn about Shane or about representing her at Survivor Series.
McMahon said she does give a damn and as she’s the Commissioner of RAW he, and everyone else on the roster, better give a damn too.
He said, with all due respect, he knows the corporate types look at him like some mindless meat castle, but he knows when someone is trying to manipulate him.
She said she’s not underestimating him. He’s an intelligent man and she’s a businesswoman. She has a business proposition for him, a compromise. RAW has defeated SmackDown the past two years. If he leads the team to victory, he can have whatever he wants. Money, planes, trains, automobiles, name it.
He doesn’t care about planes or trains or any of that. He wants another Universal title match. He wants a match with Baron Corbin before that, and to pick the stipulations. He wants Corbin to sign a waiver so he’s not responsible for the damages.
For each of his conditions, Stephanie McMahon said done, except the final one which she said might take a bit of time to get through the lawyers. But in return, he had to promise not to touch Corbin until after Survivor Series. He needs to prove he’s a team player and a proud member of the RAW roster.
Strowman said he’d better or he’s going to WWE headquarters and he’ll destroy the whole building.
McMahon said understood. She’s not trying to manipulate anyone, she’s being very transparent about what she wants and how she wants to get it. She’s here to motivate everyone on the RAW roster.
Ronda Rousey came out next and snatched the microphone out of McMahon’s hand while she was introducing her. She told her to hold the pep talk because nothing could motivate her more than she already is. She’s been waiting for a challenge like Becky Lynch since she came to WWE. She’s sick of hearing ‘the man’ threaten to rip her arm off. She can’t wait to show ‘the man’ how it’s really done. Or maybe, she doesn’t have to wait.
Baron Corbin was out next, just in time to save his boss from an armbar. He told everyone to take a breath, they need to focus all their aggression on Survivor Series and, like Stephanie, he’s there to help motivate RAW talent. After Shane McMahon stole the WWE World Cup, they can’t afford to get embarrassed again it’s a must-win situation. He focused on Rousey and said they can’t get overconfident. He put his hand on her shoulder and got as far as, ‘look, Ronda’ before she threw him to the mat and walked out.
Strowman got the final word after Stephanie McMahon asked Corbin to leave the ring. He said, ‘enjoy your time being Stephanie’s lapdog because after Survivor Series I’m going to neuter you.’
» Corey Graves conducted an in-ring interview with Seth Rollins. They started by talking about Rollins’ Survivor Series match against Shinsuke Nakamura. Graves wanted to know where Rollins is at, mentally, Rollins said it’s a first time ever match and it’s going to be a hell of a fight but right now he doesn’t give a damn about Nakamura.
Graves told him if his head is not in the game, Nakamura will take it right off. Rollins reassured him that he’ll be laser focused when the bell goes, but tonight he wants answers from Dean Ambrose.
Graves said they’ve both known Ambrose a long time and he’s never had a great way with words, he uses actions. Rollins said Ambrose isn’t stupid, he knows why he did what he did, he’s just not man enough to come out and tell him.
Graves gestured for Rollins to turn around and Ambrose was on the big screen sat on the bonnet of a car with an oilcan fire next to him.
Ambrose said, don’t ever accuse him of not being man enough to do anything. He’s man enough to get out of the cold come into the arena and beat the holy hell out of him. But he’s not going to do that because we don’t deserve it. He doesn’t owe anyone an explanation.
He talked about people coming up to him on the street, people in need of a shower, with no manners, asking him why he turned his back on his brothers, why on that night.
The Architect doesn’t have all the answers this time. He asked what Rollins wanted to know. Was he wondering whether he shouldn’t have spoken to Ambrose like he was an imbecile so much, shouldn’t have treated him like a charity case so much? Is he wondering maybe did something go wrong, did something change? Or maybe Rollins is realising Dean Ambrose has been the same guy all along and he was too self-absorbed to see it.
Maybe Ambrose regrets his actions and hopes one day his brothers can forgive him. Nope, that’s not it. The truth is, he used to think The Shield was stronger together. He used to think it made him strong. But The Shield made him weak. Rollins made him weak, Reigns made him weak, the burden of being their brother, having to watch their backs, made him weak.
But every day is a new day, a chance to be reborn’. A chance to take the past – he took his Shield vest, poured petrol over it, then tossed it in the burning oilcan – and burn it down.
Seth Rollins stared at the screen for a few moments then stalked out of the ring hurt and angry.
Michael Cole asked Renee Young for her thoughts. She said he was speaking in riddles, she didn’t understand, but this is his story to tell, maybe wait and let him tell it.
» Alexa Bliss had Mickie James, Nia Jax, and Tamina with her to announce the Survivor Series team. She said Natalya was a key member of the team but she’s had an emotional night so she sent her home to refocus. She introduced the rest of the team then said, obviously, they were one short. They need someone who will win no matter what, will risk anything to win, even friendship. So the winner of the next match will get the final place.
Sasha Banks vs Bayley – It’s not the first time they’ve fought, and it won’t be the last, and it’s usually great. This was great, right up until the point Mickie James, Tamina, and Nia Jax attacked both of them and got the match thrown out.
Bliss said that, since neither of them won, Ruby Riott would take the final place.
The camera cut to a commotion backstage, where Becky Lynch had Ronda Rousey in a Dis-Arm-Her.
After officials broke it up Lynch appeared on the ramp. She was inviting the women in the ring to come and have a go when the SmackDown women invaded the ring and a huge brawl broke out. Bliss escaped, and the rest of RAW’s women’s division came to help.
Becky Lynch ended up with blood pouring from her nose and a cut under her eye. Rousey arrived still holding her arm. Lynch was out of the ring before she got there but came back with a chair and laid her out.
The SmackDown women retreated once the RAW locker room was laid out with Becky Lynch being the last out declaring it was her show now.
It was a perfect ending to the build for those matches, but we wait to see how hurt Becky Lynch is. There was a lot of blood.
The final shots were Stephanie McMahon shouting at Baron Corbin, and a very angry Ronda Rousey staring after Becky Lynch.
The Other Bits
» Ember Moon vs Tamina was Moon’s chance for revenge after the attack by Tamina and Jax last week. Nia Jax accompanied Tamina to the ring and was instrumental in the match and the result. After turning the match in Tamina’s favour by distracting Moon, Jax got up on the apron when Moon went up for the Eclipse. When Moon looked at Jax she caught a superkick from Tamina followed by a splash for the win. Nia Jax attacked Moon after the match.
» After trolling everyone with Kurt Angle’s music, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre took to the ring for a Drew McIntyre tirade about how RAW is now his show because he destroyed The Shield and humiliated Kurt Angle. Now it’s his show there is no room for weakness and he won’t allow any more nostalgia acts.
Finn Balor interrupted. McIntyre said he had a lot of guts coming out considering what he did to him last week. Balor said McIntyre crossed the line. He could have just beaten Angle, he didn’t have to humiliate him. McIntyre said he could have done worse and Balor is exactly what’s wrong with the roster.
Balor told him to shut up, called him a bully and asked for a match.
McIntyre said he doesn’t know what’s more fragile, his feelings or his body, but he can have a match. Against Ziggler. And if he can defeat Ziggler then maybe he’ll consider lowering himself to his level. Ziggler seemed offended until McIntyre headbutted Balor to the canvas.
Dolph Ziggler vs Finn Balor was a bit one-sided for the most part, largely because Balor hadn’t recovered from the headbutt. And Ziggler still couldn’t keep him down. Balor gradually built some momentum over the match. After dropkicking McIntyre and tipping Ziggler out of the ring, Balor sailed over the top rope onto both. Balor missed a Coup de Grace and Ziggler tried to roll him up, but Balor reversed it and got the pin.
After the match, Stephanie McMahon asked Balor to be on the Survivor Series team. Drew McIntyre interrupted. McMahon told him RAW is her show and McIntyre can’t hurt his teammate. What he did to Angle was diabolical and evil, and exactly what she wants him to do to her brother. After Sunday they can tear each other apart.
» Ronda Rousey had a backstage interview to answer Becky Lynch’s last promo. She got very riled up, called Lynch a millennial man with a bubble-wrapped ego and a porcelain self-perception. And said she didn’t change the meaning of fight like a girl so the leader of the women’s evolution could call herself the man. Nia Jax and Tamina appeared at the end of the interview to wish Rousey luck in the most threatening manner possible.
» Ruby Riott did a fake apology segment for breaking Natalya’s dad’s sunglasses last week. She said some nice things about Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart, and some awful things about him being ashamed of Natalya
When Natalya’s music Logan and Morgan went to intercept her, and she attacked Riott from behind. She got a few hits in before they noticed, and she quickly succumbed to the numbers game. To add insult to injury, The Riott Squad finished with a Hart Attack.
» The Tag Team Battle Royal to determine the Survivor Series captains did eventually happen. It involved the entire RAW tag division, minus AOP who have a champions versus champions match. In case you were wondering, the entire RAW tag division is Heath Slater and Rhyno, The Revival, Lucha House Party, The B-Team, The Ascension, and Bobby Roode and Chad Gable. That’s also the order in which they went out, with Roode and Gable taking the captaincy.
» Brock Lesnar stood in the ring dancing like he needed to pee, while Paul Heyman talked up the champion versus champion match against AJ Styles at Survivor Series. He was on his ‘that’s not a prediction that’s a spoiler’ line when Jinder Mahal appeared wanting to warn Heyman and Lesnar not to take Styles lightly and to offer his help.
Lesnar actually spoke, to invite Mahal into the ring. Mahal told Lesnar to breathe in and repeat ‘Shanti’, Lesnar did it once, while Paul Heyman got out of the ring, then beat up Mahal and the Singh brothers finishing with an F5 to Mahal at ringside.
» Bobby Lashley versus Elias was for the final Survivor Series team place. Elias cut short Lio Rush’s sycophantic adoration of Lashley’s posing by fake calling child protective services and reporting Rush as a kidnapped child Lashley was forcing to admire his body. When Lashley got upset, Elias told him he sucks. It was ridiculously short thanks to Lio Rush. He crawled under the ring and grabbed Elias’ leg to stop him getting back in the ring after Lashley had thrown him into the steps when they were brawling on the outside. Elias got counted out.
The build to brand versus brand shows involves so much talking. Everyone had something to say for themselves tonight. Got to admit, the SmackDown women invading at the end brightened things up. Survivor Series should be fantastic.