The RAW Tag Team Championships are due to be on the line on tonight’s Survivor Series go-home show, when Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder challenge The Viking Raiders. Natalya will go one on one with Asuka to make up for missing out on being in the tag title match last week. Rey Mysterio is due to appear to hype his Survivor Series match against Brock Lesnar. Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair are teaming again, against unnamed opponents. And Seth Rollins is putting his Survivor Series place on the line against Andrade. Considering the upcoming weekend, I doubt anything is going to run smoothly tonight.
I’m Amanda and this is the RAW review
Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair def. The IIconics
Humberto Carrillo def. Karl Anderson
Bobby Lashley def. No Way José
Seth Rollins def. Andrade (DQ)
Buddy Murphy def. Akira Tozawa
Erick Rowan def. Alex Malcom
Kevin Owens vs Drew McIntyre – No Contest
Asuka def. Natalya
The Viking Raiders vs Randy Orton & Ricochet – No Contest
♦ Becky Lynch opened the show again. Before her match, she took some time to build for Sunday’s match. She started by inviting Bayley and Shayna Baszler to come at her face to face if they’re in the building. If they want to fight, they can go right now.
Instead, she got the IIconics complaining about being left off the RAW Survivor Series team.
Lynch responded by saying she knows she’s supposed to be teaming with Charlotte Flair, but she’s happy to take them on alone. Flair came out and got upset about Lynch wanting The IIconics all to herself. Apparently, Flair doesn’t want to team with Lynch any more than Lynch wants to team with her, but the powers that be want them together. Flair also pointed out she’s the leader of Team RAW, so she has a match to hype for Sunday as well.
Samoa Joe appeared, for some reason, before the match started and just going into a break.
Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair vs The IIconics started after the break and it turned out that Samoa Joe was there for commentary because Dio Maddin still isn’t back. The IIconics are a tough team to face if your teamwork isn’t up to scratch, as demonstrated when they caught Lynch and Flair arguing at the start and got the upper hand. It didn’t last long and either did the match. Charlotte Flair tapped Billie Kay out with a Figure Eight while Becky Lynch delivered a Bexploder to Peyton Royce to stop her breaking it up.
Shayna Baszler, Marina Shafir, and Jessamyn Duke arrived after Flair and Lynch had left the ring and beat up The IIconics until Flair and Lynch ran back to help. When they did, they fell foul of the three on two advantage and were left lying in the ring. The NXT trio started to leave but Flair and Lynch got up to follow, only to be turned back by security. Becky Lynch got so frustrated she punched one of them out.
♦ Charly Caruso interviewed Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins about their tag title match. Or she tried to. Unfortunately, Ryder and Hawkins got beaten up by The Authors of Pain while answering her questions.
The tag title match was later cancelled due to injuries sustained in the attack.
♦ AJ Styles, accompanied by the rest of The OC, wanted to go on record to say he would love to defend his US title tonight against Humberto Carrillo, but Carrillo disrespected him last week. If you disrespect one member of The OC then you disrespect all its members, so Karl Anderson is going to beat Carrillo instead. Karl Anderson vs Humberto Carrillo didn’t start off as planned for Anderson. In fact, Carrillo had things so under control that Gallows and Styles pulled Anderson to safety.
Street Profits came out to even the numbers for Carrillo, and while The OC were distracted with Ford and Dawkins’ arrival, Carrillo knocked them down with a dive. After the break, the match was fine but the finish wasn’t clean. Luke Gallows interfered to drag Carrillo’s neck over the ropes and Anderson rolled him up for the pin, but Montez Ford flipped them over so Anderson’s shoulders were on the mat and the ref counted the three.
♦ Bobby Lashley, with Lana, vs No Way Jose didn’t happen until after Lana had said her piece. She’s filed for divorce from Rusev and had a restraining order issued so he can’t come within 90ft of her. The match was short and inconsequential. It was nice to see No Way José, but he got put to sleep with a full nelson.
♦ Seth Rollins told Charly Caruso he accepted Andrade’s challenge because he’s been there for 7 years, to the day, and has never backed down from a challenge. He’s a leader, but what kind of leader would he be if he backed down.
Seth Rollins vs Andrade, with Zelina Vega, was a slow and methodical one at the start, with Rollins trying to keep Andrade grounded and under control. Predictably, Zelina Vega got involved. The ref didn’t see her grab Rollins’ leg, but he did notice when she tried to take Rollins down with a hurricanrana and he caught her. The ref ejected her from ringside, but she still got her client the advantage when he sailed over the top rope and took Rollins out while he was watching her leave. It looked like losing Vega knocked Andrade’s head out of the game for a while, but he got back into it and had a few good chances, including a trio of suplexes that was easily his closest call, before SmackDown’s Lucha House Party attacked Rollins and caused the disqualification.
After the match was done, Lucha House Party started to beat down Andrade and Seth Rollins stepped up to help him. Rollins remains as RAW Team captain, but he promised Andrade they’d do it again, one day down the road, before he left the ring.
♦ Buddy Murphy knocked on Aleister Black’s door to pick a fight with him but walked off saying Black was all talk before Aleister Black had chance to answer it.
♦ Triple H was shown arriving in the front car of a long procession.
♦ Akira Tozawa vs Buddy Murphy was a really good match between two men desperate to prove they deserve a decent spot on the RAW roster. They both do, but Buddy Murphy picked up the win this time with Murphy’s Law.
Murphy stopped outside Aleister Black’s door on his way back through the backstage area. He called out and Black was waiting for him.
♦ Erick Rowan is still talking to whatever is in that carrier he had last week. He brought it to the ring for his squash match as well. Erick Rowan vs Alex Malcom was interrupted by R-Truth and The Singh Brothers before it got started. Rowan levelled the two Singh Brothers with a double clothesline, then threw Malcom out onto them after the bell and levelled all three of them with a crossbody. He was quick to put his opponent out of his misery after that though, and collected his carrier on the way out.
♦ Randy Orton was asked, by Charly Caruso, if he’s going to be a team player at Survivor Series. He said for 18 years it’s been proved that he doesn’t play well with others unless it benefits him. Being the greatest superstar in the history of Survivor Series benefits him. He’s heard that The Viking Raiders are looking for a fight, so Caruso should go and tell them he’ll be waiting for them in the ring with a partner of his choosing, that benefits him.
♦ Commentary, Samoa Joe especially, noted that Kevin Owens vs Drew McIntyre was a weird choice of match for the night considering they will both be on RAW’s Survivor Series team. It looked to be a valid concerned as they beat the hell out of each other for an extended period of time. Owens survived being dropped on his spine on the apron and being powerbombed. McIntyre survived a frogsplash and a pop-up powerbomb. When McIntyre thought it was over and hit the Claymore, Owens got his foot on the rope. Kevin Owens hit a stunner but McIntyre got his foot on the rope.
Triple H arrived after Owens hit a second stunner but before he got chance to cover, and we immediately went to a break.
By the time we came back, McIntyre was gone and Triple H was in the ring with Owens and some of the NXT roster – Forgotten Sons, Damian Priest, and Dominik Dijakovic – were stood on the ramp. Triple H gave Owens some water and talked a bit about being back in Boston before he got to the point, which was propositioning Kevin Owens to join team NXT. He said some very complimentary things, including that it was Owens more than anyone else who put NXT on the map by challenging John Cena. And he tried to say Owens should never have left NXT because the main roster didn’t really want him, he was too talented, too smart, and he didn’t fit the mold. They told him over and over that he didn’t belong there. But Triple H knows where he does belong. He tried to tell Owens that Team RAW were still out the back because they don’t care about him. RAW Superstars – Buddy Murphy, Ricochet, Cedric Alexander, and Mojo Rawley – came out and attacked the NXT Superstars and Undisputed ERA attacked Kevin Owens. That might not have been in Triple H’s plan because he was arguing with Adam Cole while the other 3 stamped on Owens. The OC made the save and chased off Undisputed ERA.
♦ Charly Caruso spoke to Humberto Carrillo about the announcement he’s been given a US Championship match against AJ Styles on next week’s RAW. He’s happy to have the opportunity and looking forward to it.
♦ Paul Heyman talked about the events leading up to Lesnar facing Mysterio at Survivor Series. He talked about Lesnar beating Cain Velasquez, and about Mysterio attacking with a pipe. He also talked about the rumours Lesnar isn’t 100% fit. To prove he is (somehow) he made the match No Holds Barred – No Disqualification. It will either be a miracle or a massacre. He said the footage will be so brutal WWE will have to pull it off the network.
Rey Mysterio told Humberto Carrillo he was proud of him before answering Paul Heyman’s comments. He said Lesnar made the mistake of his life turning it into a No Holds Barred match because he’s taking his little friend (the pipe he attacked Lesnar with) to the ring with him on Sunday. The stipulation works in his favour. He’s going to get his revenge. On Sunday, at Survivor Series, he’s not coming for an apology, he’s coming for the WWE Championship.
♦ Asuka, with Kairi Sane, vs Natalya was a first time one on one match, but again it was teammates for Sunday squaring off, which is odd on the verge of an inter-brand PPV. They didn’t beat each other up as badly and Owens and McIntyre, but they took some hard shots. Natalya allowed herself to be distracted once too often by Kairi Sane, took a kick to the face and got pinned.
♦ The Viking Raiders vs Randy Orton & Ricochet – RAW Tag Team Championship match – main evented the show. Orton waited until The Viking Raiders were in the ring to bring out Ricochet. It was chaos within a minute with all four of them involved in the action, but attention drifted away from the ring when cameras cut to Team SmackDown beating people up backstage.
When we returned from yet another poorly timed break, we were back to the match and the competitors were seemingly oblivious to the plight of their brand-mates. It was a good main event, but it was only a matter of time before the SmackDown invasion made their way to the ring.
It happened when Orton was readying himself for the RKO. The SmackDown Superstars – Heavy Machinery, Roode & Ziggler, Lucha House Party, Cesaro – quickly overwhelmed the 4 men in the ring. They fought back, despite being wildly outnumbered and secured the ring.
Then NXT turned up in numbers, too many to name by the end. At first it was just enough to take out the SmackDown superstars, but when they were down more NXT members arrived. Then still more – wow, just shows how damned big the NXT roster is. Commentary said it was the whole roster, but it was nowhere near. They attacked and the RAW roster finally ran down to join the fray as the SmackDown superstars got back up to join in.
Triple H appeared on screen from backstage and said this is just the start. In 6 days, NXT will finish this and show the world that NXT is the A-brand of the WWE. And on Wednesday, it’s an open door. Triple H is leaving the doors of NXT open and RAW and SmackDown can bring anything they’ve got.
Samoa Joe on commentary was delightful. He had interesting insights about what was actually going on in the ring, and didn’t drift off into irrelevant crap like commentary have a tendency to do. It’s a great way to use injured talent because having an active roster member brings a different perspective. I hope they do it more. Survivor Series weekend has the potential to be WWE’s best weekend of the year. Enjoy it and join us here next week for all the fallout.