Welcome to RAW’s ‘go home’ show for TLC. By the looks of the preview, there’s going to be a lot of talking. Seth Rollins wants to talk about Dean Ambrose and life on RAW under Baron Corbin. Alexa Bliss is holding a pre-TLC press conference. Natalya and Ruby Riott will need to do something to hype their tables match at. And Heath Slater starts his new career as a referee.
I’m Amanda, and this is the RAW review.
Bobby Roode and Chad Gable def. AOP and Drake Maverick – Tag Team Championship match – TITLE CHANGE
Drew McIntyre def. Dolph Ziggler
Bayley def. Alicia Fox
Lio Rush def. Elias
Ember Moon def. Tamina
Seth Rollins def. Baron Corbin
The Best Bits
» Seth Rollins opened the show, his theme tune now has a lot more ‘burn it down’s in it. He said that’s going to be his rallying cry at TLC, but more importantly, that’s the theme of the night. He’s not there to call out Ambrose, he’s there to spit truth. He invited Baron Corbin to the ring for a dose of reality.
Corbin said if Rollins wants to have a conversation, they should do it in private. The door to his office is always open to a superstar of Rollins calibre.
Rollins told him to cut the crap, shut up, and listen. He’s been wrapped up in the stuff with Dean Ambrose and he hasn’t gotten to tell him what he thinks of the job Corbin is doing as General Manager. Under Corbin’s leadership, Monday Night RAW has sucked, and it’s sucked because of Corbin making everything about himself, he exerts his power, ends people’s careers – the crowd started a ‘Corbin sucks’ chant – what Corbin has been doing as General Manager is not ok.
Corbin said he understands Rollins frustration and he’s allowing him to vent but watch how he speaks.
Rollins asked, ‘or what’ is he going to fire him, fire the whole roster. Back there are some of the most talented men and women that Monday Night RAW has ever seen and Corbin doesn’t know what to do with them. The Revival are fighting Lucha House Rules matches instead of for the titles. If he’s going to fire everyone will it just be Corbin, Lashley, and McIntyre out there patting each other on the back for three hours? That’ll send ratings through the roof. Or more segments with urination in, so funny, so cutting edge. Every decision Corbin has made is to mask his insecurities. Was Braun Strowman mean to him, did he hurt his feelings, so much that Corbin had to hand the title back to Brock Lesnar, a guy who only shows up when he wants to show up. Only he never wants to show up. The last time Brock Lesnar was in a match on RAW was 2002. The whole Baron Corbin experience has been an abject failure. Talent support, backstage morale, fans’ support and the tv ratings are at an all-time low and it’s all because of Corbin.
Corbin said he appreciates Rollins’ feedback but next time, to save him some time, he should write it all down, put it under his desk and he’ll file it under ‘I don’t give a damn’. He doesn’t care what Rollins, the locker room, or the fans think. RAW is his show and if Rollins doesn’t like it that’s too bad because Corbin is going to be in charge for a very long time and it’s only going to get worse for a guy like Rollins.
Rollins said he doesn’t think things can get any worse.
Corbin said this Sunday Ambrose is going to beat Rollins and Corbin is going to beat Strowman in a TLC match by forfeit, which is too bad because he’s always wanted a TLC match. So, after he wins by forfeit, JoJo will introduce him as the permanent General Manager of RAW. And starting the next night, right up until Rollins quits, Corbin is going to put him through hell.
Rollins said why wait until next week. How about he starts tonight, and they have a match. One on one isn’t good enough and, as Corbin has always wanted to have one, how about they have a TLC match.
Corbin said he’d end Rollins with a table, ladder, or chair. Rollins said it would be a tune-up for Sunday. Corbin said if Rollins wants to be a hero it will cost him everything, Corbin has no problem making an example of him, but the answer is still no.
Rollins called him coward and kept saying it every time Corbin tried to speak, then started poking him.
Corbin gave in and said the match will be for the Intercontinental Championship.
Backstage Rollins was interviewed and asked if he regrets calling out Corbin. He said it might not have been smart, but he can’t let Corbin get away with it. If he wants to be a leader, if he considers himself a champion, he’s got to take a stand.
» Drew McIntyre vs Dolph Ziggler – McIntyre insisted on this rematch after he believed Finn Balor cost him last week’s match. Balor is at home injured as a result of McIntyre’s attack backstage. Excellent match. They beat the hell out of each other. McIntyre almost got counted out and would probably have succumbed to the ZigZag if Ziggler had enough left by that stage to cover him. McIntyre won with a Claymore kick while Ziggler was waiting to hit a superkick. to make it one apiece. He wasn’t satisfied with that though and gave Ziggler a solid beatdown after the match.
» Seth Rollins (C) vs Baron Corbin – Intercontinental Championship, TLC match – This is apparently the first time in six years that there has been a TLC match on RAW. In Corbin’s interview before the match, he said if he hadn’t accepted Rollins’ challenge he would have been depriving people of seeing him swinging a chair etc. This is just a taster for Rollins, things will get worse after he wins by forfeit and becomes permanent General Manager. Then the locker room and the WWE universe will have no choice but to All Hail Baron Corbin. Heath Slater was the ref, but considering it was a ladder match with the title above the ring, there wasn’t much from him to do.
The match started fairly slowly. The chairs came into play first, then the ladders, and Corbin did the early damage. Rollins got suplexed into a ladder and Corbin spent some time while he was down wedging a chair into a corner. Rollins reversed the attempt to send him into it. but Corbin slid under the bottom rope to avoid impact.
Corbin got most of the way up the ladder, for the first attempt of the match, before Rollins jumped onto it and forced him down.
Corbin hit the chair he’d set up, much later in the match, just before Rollins destroyed it over his back and hit three suicide dives. On the third, Corbin caught him and put him through a table. While Rollins was recovering Corbin did the slowest ladder climb ever. Rollins knocked him down with a chair and accidentally took out Heath Slater. Corbin sent himself into the steps when Rollins got out of his way so Rollins laid him on a table and frogsplashed off the top turnbuckle put Corbin through the table.
Rollins got fingertips to his title before Heath Slater toppled the ladder over, picked Corbin up, and helped him to the ladder. Rollins got back up pulled Slater away, buckle-bombed Corbin through a table, superkicked Slater, Stomped Corbin, and climbed the ladder to retrieve his championship.
Dean Ambrose came to the stage after the match and had a stare out with Rollins still up the ladder.
The Other Bits
» AOP (C) and Drake Maverick vs Bobby Roode and Chad Gable – RAW Tag Team Championship, 3 on 2 handicap match – Drake Maverick was apparently there to try to steal the glory. He tagged in when Gable was down, then straight out when he kicked out. He came in useful to Gable and Roode when they threw him over the top rope onto Akam and Rezar. Gable managed to counter the Super-Collider but took another double team. Roode was the legal man and wasn’t so lucky. Drake Maverick insisted on being tagged in, did Roode’s ‘Glorious’ pose and sat for a lazy cover, Roode rolled him over and pinned him. New tag team champions.
» Natalya said she normally comes out with a big smile because she’s the type of person who wears her heart on her sleeve but there’s something she wants to get off her chest. She loves WWE but Ruby Riott doesn’t respect a person or a thing in the business. Riott made it personal when she destroyed the sunglasses and tried to destroy Jim Neidhart’s legacy. She’s accused Natalya of being handed everything and been spoon fed because of her last name, but Natalya had to overcome so much just to get into WWE. Natalya is proud to be a Hart and represent her family. At TLC she’s going to teach Ruby Riott about respect, and she’s dedicating the match to her dad.
The Riott Squad came to the stage with a covered table. Riott said all Natalya does is walk around the locker room feeling sorry for herself and she wants to talk about respect. Natalya doesn’t need respect, she needs a counsellor. No one has the guts to say it to her face, but Natalya doesn’t’ represent her family she disgraces them. Then she unveiled the table, with a picture of Jim Neidhart on it. Everyone knows how close Natalya and her dad were, but when she puts her through that table on Sunday, they’ll be closer than ever.
» Bayley vs Alicia Fox – Bayley was accompanied by Sasha Banks, Alicia Fox had Jinder Mahal and the Singh Brothers. This was an advert for Mixed Match Challenge. Fox and Mahal are in the semi-final against Bayley and Apollo Crews (replacing the injured Balor). The Singh Brothers distracted Bayley by getting on the apron, allowing Fox to deliver a big boot. Apollo Crews came down to deal with them, Sasha Banks got Crews to pick her up and throw her into Mahal and both Singh brothers. In the ring, Fox took a Bayley to Belly and got pinned.
» Dean Ambrose was interviewed backstage by Charly Caruso. She introduced him as The Lunatic Fringe and he told her never to call him that again. He said the Rollins isn’t the man he normally is, he’s rattled, his heads all twisted around. Everything Rollins does is driven by ego. If Rollins is still Intercontinental champion on Sunday, he’ll take the title then tell him what he thinks of him to his face. Caruso asked how he thinks Roman Reigns would react if he knew what was going on. Ambrose was quiet for a really long time then said, ‘Roman? Who cares?’. Caruso said they wanted his thoughts on something and played a video package for him and Rollins, starting with Reigns speech and Ambrose turning on Rollins, all with Ambrose’s promo from their pre-match interview that night played over the top, then into the stuff between Ambrose and Rollins since then. When it finished, Ambrose pulled a few sneering faces and left without a word.
» Elias vs Lio Rush – Elias’ song had the crowd clapping along, but it was interrupted when he got to the line about Bobby Lashley sucking. This was Heath Slater’s first match as a referee. As for the match, when Elias got hold of Rush, he bounced him around the ring. He got hold of him a lot. Rush got back into it when Lashley caused a distraction, until Elias got hold of him again. A sit out powerbomb should have ended it but Lashley broke it up and wouldn’t let Heath Slater disqualify Rush. Instead, he beat Elias down for Rush and broke a guitar over his back, then made Slater count Rush’s cover. Heath Slater looked dejected when he left the arena.
In the locker room, Corbin congratulated Slater on a job well done and told him to get over ending Rhyno’s career. Slater said he was going home and Corbin told him he has another match to referee.
» Alexa Bliss hosted the segment between Nia Jax, with Tamina, and Ronda Rousey, not that she got to do anything. Jax snatched the mic and said she was going to make a statement. This Sunday she’s going to become the RAW women’s champion. If Rousey had half a brain left she’d lay the title at Jax’ feet tonight and avoid the beating and humiliation that’s coming to her at TLC. Jax is a six-foot-tall three-hundred-pound Samoan woman. She’s the embodiment of the anti-Rousey and her secret is her right hand. She broke Becky Lynch’s face with one punch but she’s going to punch Rousey in the face over and over until she taps out to stop her. Jax isn’t just the most imposing force in WWE women’s history, she’s also a strategist so if Rousey grabs her arm she’ll pry her hand off her arm, create distance, then break her face.
Rousey came out at that point and said she didn’t come to hit her poses and talk about fighting, she came to fight. By the time she got in the ring, it was clear. Nia Jax and Tamina went to opposite sides of the ring and Ember Moon ran down to even the numbers. Nothing happened.
Ember Moon vs Tamina – This almost turned into Nia Jax versus Ronda Rousey on the outside, after Jax pulled Tamina out of Moon’s path. The rest of the match was fine. Rousey finally got her hands on Jax after Jax got on the apron when Moon went for the Eclipse. Rousey threw Jax over the barricade. Moon hit Tamina with and Eclipse and got the win.
That was a much better episode of RAW than the last few. There are actually a few storylines going on with the potential to be great, but we’ll have to see how they pan out. TLC should be an interesting show. See you next week for the fallout.