RAW lost Survivor Series (you can read the full show review here). The final result was NXT: 4, SmackDown: 2, and RAW: 1. WWE’s preview has barely anything on it. Charlotte Flair and Asuka go one on one after Asuka misted Flair in the Survivor Series match. And Humberto Carrillo has a shot at AJ Styles US Championship. That’s it. Everything else is a mystery. Although WWE did tweet a video showing Rusev being served with a restraining order, he tried to enter the arena.
I’m Amanda and this is the RAW review
Bobby Lashley def. Titus O’Neil (DQ)
AOP def. Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder
Andrade def. Akira Tozawa
Buddy Murphy def. Matt Hardy
Rey Mysterio def. Ricochet, Drew McIntyre, and Randy Orton
Rey Mysterio def. AJ Styles (TITLE CHANGE)
Asuka def. Charlotte Flair
Erick Rowan def. Kyle Roberts
Kevin Owens def. Seth Rollins (DQ)
♦ Seth Rollins opened the show, with (some of) the locker room surrounding the ring for his Town Hall meeting, to CM Punk chants. He told the crowd he tried to get Punk but he didn’t want to show up, he wants to sit behind a desk and talk about a change he’s too afraid to make himself.
NXT mopped the floor with them at Survivor Series and he hates that because he’s been a fan of RAW his whole life. To see what it has become breaks his heart. He told the locker room they all sucked last night. The crowd told him he did too, and he agreed with them but said he’s trying to right the ship. They’ve gone from the A show to the C show and they have to make it right. He believes in Monday Night RAW which is why he called them all there, and he invited the rest of the locker room to speak.
No one stepped up so he picked on Randy Orton and called him the weak link of the Survivor Series team. Orton said nothing and walked out. He turned to Charlotte Flair, insulted her leadership skills and said ‘And you call yourself a Flair’, so she left too. Funnily enough, Becky Lynch wasn’t at ringside to be yelled at by her fiancé.
He looked at AOP and said they’ve been talking for weeks and they weren’t even at Survivor Series but maybe they should have been. They left as well when Rollins said RAW didn’t need them last night or tonight.
Rollins turned to Rey Mysterio and told him he let everyone down more than anyone else. He beat Lesnar twice this year and Mysterio couldn’t even get it done with a lead pipe and his ‘stupid kid’ helping him out. Maybe he wasn’t the Rey Mysterio we all grew up loving. Everyone left and the crowd chanted ‘Asshole’ at Rollins. Only Kevin Owens stayed. Rollins called him Mr. NXT and said it was a Town Hall meeting so anyone could speak but he knew what Owens would say. He thinks Owens was going to blame him but it’s not about him. He loves RAW and spends his life trying to make it better because he wants it to be the best show on the planet. Owens just shows up. He called him a ‘lazy piece of crap’ and said he thinks Owens wants to be him – Not sure he does…
Kevin Owens said nothing, gave Rollins a stunner, and left.
Backstage, Charly Caruso tried to interview Rollins, but he was still ranting about trying to do what’s best. He challenged Kevin Owens to a match though.
♦ Bobby Lashley, with Lana, vs Titus O’Neil was the opening match. Footage of Rusev being served with the restraining order was shown during Lashley’s entrance (see link in intro). It’s been a while since Titus O’Neil had a match on RAW, and he still hasn’t really. Rusev arrived within a minute and beat up Lashley, with Lana screaming the whole time. He beat him up onto the stage, cleared off the announce desk, then got distracted by Lana and was dragged off in handcuffs by the police. Halfway across the stage, he got free and shoulder barged Lashley off the stage, then managed to knock a scaffolding tower over onto him.
During the break, Lashley was strapped to a stretcher in a neck brace and wheeled away.
Towards the end of the show, Lana was interviewed by Charly Caruso. She said Rusev was dangerous, which is why she’s taken out multiple restraining orders. After tonight, she wants Rusev fired. Everyone has been asking about Lashley, but she’s handling it and she’s going to be ok. This storyline still sucks but if they insist on doing it, I wish Lana would at least remove her wedding ring.
♦ AOP vs Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder was short. The AOP delivered the Last Chapter to Hawkins, beat them both up briefly, then delivered a Super Collider. One final double team on Curt Hawkins and it was all over.
♦ Akira Tozawa vs Andrade, with Zelina Vega, was much too short considering how good it could have been. I fail to see the point of most of these sub-3-minute matches. At least, Zelina Vega wasn’t the difference-maker this week. Andrade finished it with the Hammerlock DDT all by himself.
♦ Aleister Black asked Buddy Murphy if he understood the repercussions of what he’s done. Murphy knocked on his door a week ago and now Black sees he’s got a match, so he’s coming to collect what he’s owed. Murphy’s very presence in the arena indicates he wants to pick a fight with Aleister Black.
♦ Matt Hardy is back in the ring!! Matt Hardy vs Buddy Murphy was his return match. He might wish he’d stayed away. Murphy is vicious and didn’t cut Hardy and slack for being a legend. Hardy was sent into the ringpost and barricade, but came back at Murphy with a Side Effect. Murphy avoided the Twist of Fate and three knee strikes put Matt Hardy down for the count. Yet another short one, but Buddy Murphy had a bloody nose at the end of it.
After the match, Murphy called out Aleister Black and told him he’d come to pick a fight with him. Black arrived on cue and they did have a fight. Aleister Black’s knee strike knocked Murphy out of the ring, and he staggered around a bit then got back on the apron before thinking better of it and leaving. This could be a quietly brilliant feud which is unlikely to get the attention it deserves.
♦ Charly Caruso interviewed Charlotte Flair about Asuka misting her and asked if her behaviour was ‘captain-like’. Flair said she ever claimed to be a team player, but she was the only one qualified to lead the team. Asuka is still bitter about Flair breaking her streak and ruining her mystique. She knows the green mist is the only way she could beat her. Tonight, Flair will remind Asuka that she’s a 10-time Champion and The Queen.
♦ AJ Styles (C) vs Humberto Carrillo – US Championship match – never happened. Humberto Carrillo was attacked during his entrance by Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. They comprehensively beat him up and gave him a Magic Killer on the steps. AJ Styles spoke to the crowd while Ricochet came down to check on Carrillo. Styles started making fun of Ricochet saying he thought Ricochet was superhero but he couldn’t make it in time to save his buddy. Ricochet responded by telling Styles that wasn’t what a champion should be and challenging him to a match. Styles said no, then Randy Orton appeared.
Orton said Humberto can’t compete, but he can and he thinks Chicago might like that. So he challenged Styles to a title match. Styles reminded him he beat him last time. He has nothing to prove to two guys he’s already beaten so it’s not happening.
Drew McIntyre joined the party. He said Styles has never beaten him, and McIntyre has never had a singles opportunity. So how about they give the crowd a first time ever match.
Styles said he’s a little sore after last night, but Rey Mysterio arrived before he could make any more excuses. Mysterio said he got beaten up by Lesnar last night and he’s not complaining. He’s not going to let Styles cheat the people out of a title match, so he should get a shot.
Styles still disagreed, saying none of them has earned it. Ricochet suggested he, Orton, McIntyre, and Mysterio have a 4-way to see who gets to face Styles for the title. Styles said that was a silly idea and looked to Gallows and Anderson to back him up, but they both thought it sounded cool.
Ricochet vs Randy Orton vs Drew McIntyre vs Rey Mysterio – Fatal Four-way to become Number One Contender to the US Championship – was a nice way to build the importance of the US title, considering the WWE Championship is still in the possession of part-time Brock.
The match was great. Very entertaining. The OC came down to watch part way through. Randy Orton and Drew McIntyre had an argument in the middle of the match while Ricochet and Mysterio were down, and exchanged some heavy blows, but Ricochet stopped McIntyre capitalising after he’d headbutted Orton to the mat. Orton was about to get the win after RKO’ing McIntyre while he was setting up for a Claymore, but Gallows and Anderson pulled him out of the ring and flung him into the barricade.
McIntyre rolled out of the ring as well and it was down to Ricochet and Mysterio to finish it off. Rey Mysterio caught Ricochet in an inside cradle and got the win and the title shot.
AJ Styles (C) vs Rey Mysterio – US Championship match – followed immediately after the break. It’s a little unfair that Rey Mysterio barely got chance to get his breath back and it was no surprise that it was all AJ Styles in the early going. Mysterio appeared to be carrying a leg injury that hampered his comeback when he struggled to bounce off the ropes. It was shoving Styles into the post that gave Mysterio a moment to collect himself. Karl Anderson grabbed Mysterio’s leg when he went for the 619, and the ref figured out what happened and sent him and Gallows to the back.
Rey Mysterio did get his comeback, after evading a baseball slide while he was in the tree of woe. Styles crotched himself on the post, and it was all Mysterio for a few minutes.
Unfortunately, the 619 knocked Styles into the referee and The OC came and beat Mysterio down while the ref was out. Orton came back to even the odds, took out Gallows and Anderson, and gave Styles an RKO as a follow up to another 619 from Mysterio. The ref magically woke up just in time to count the frogsplash pin. Rey Mysterio is the new United States Champion.
Dominik came down and put his dad on his shoulders to celebrate.
♦ Kevin Owens addressed Seth Rollins. He heard everything Rollins said about trying to do everything he can to make the show better, and his suggestion that Owens is not all he could be. But the biggest difference between them is that Owens has always known who he is and he’ll never change. Whereas Rollins is always trying to be whatever he thinks the company needs. And all he’s accomplished is to turn himself into ‘a miserable whiny insufferable prick’. There’s another stunner coming and that will turn Monday Night Rollins into the Kevin Owens Show.
♦ Charlotte Flair vs Asuka, with Kairi Sane, started with Flair complaining that there was still green in her hair. Kairi Sane caused a brief early distraction, but it was a brief one and a very angry Flair was quickly back in control. This was Charlotte Flair in ‘done with your shit’ mode. Asuka created separation by dragging Flair to the canvas by her hair, but it was Flair allowing herself to get distracted by swiping at Sane on the outside that handed Asuka the advantage. Asuka’s kicks and punches just served to wind Flair up, and she got a big boot for her trouble.
With Asuka down, Flair took a few moments to chase Sane out through the crowd. After the break, it was finally truly one on one and it was a bitter battle for the finish. There were a smattering of near falls on both sides, including Asuka getting out of a Boston Crab and kicking out of a spear. But we didn’t get the finish the match deserved. Kairi Sane reappeared and Flair smashed her into the ringpost. Sane got up on the apron and distracted the ref, and Asuka sprayed Charlotte Flair with the green mist and pinned her before the ref worked out what happened.
♦ Erick Rowan vs Kyle Roberts was another squash. Roberts made the mistake of peeking into the cat carrier Rowan takes with him everywhere, so he got destroyed at ringside, then slammed into the canvas a couple of times and pinned.
♦ There was an attempt to interview AJ Styles, but he was apparently speechless. He waved his finger around and pulled some very odd faces, then managed to say ‘Randy Orton’ before he walked off.
♦ Seth Rollins vs Kevin Owens main evented the show and it was a lot better than the crowd gave it credit for. They cheered for Owens and chanted ‘CM Punk’ a few times (earning glares from Rollins), but they were giving Seth Rollins nothing. Rollins frustration started to show going into the break when he picked up a chair. The ref had persuaded him to put it down by the time we came back.
Rollins’ ribs took a battering from Owens landing on them repeatedly, but he kept going regardless. He finally got a reaction from the crowd, they booed him when he was winding up for the Stomp, which he missed. They cheered when he took a pop up powerbomb though, then booed when he kicked out. Owens delivered a stunner, but couldn’t capitalise.
AOP arrived while they were both down and handed Kevin Owens the victory when they beat him up. After launching Owens’ shoulder-first into the post repeatedly and practically knocking him out with a knee, they turned their attention to Seth Rollins. Rollins pulled himself up in the corner and told them ‘Come on’, but they walked away. Seth Rollins delivered two Stomps to the partially conscious Kevin Owens to end the show.
I’m not entirely sure how to sum up tonight’s show. There’s some potentially good stuff going on and some less good stuff. The Rusev and Lashley storyline is painfully bad, and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler managed to imply Ric Flair was dead during Charlotte Flair’s match and had to be corrected by Vic Joseph. I guess we just have to see how the next couple of weeks go as they start to build towards TLC.