By Jim Jaeger @jaegerjunc
Welcome to Monday Night RAW!
With only a few weeks until Survivor Series many questions remain. Will RAW exact its revenge on Smackdown Live for its invasion a few weeks back? Will Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns be healthy enough to compete at Survivor Series? Which Superstars will be invited to join the respective RAW Survivor Series teams? Stay tuned to find out!
We are live from Manchester, United Kingdom!
The show started with a recap of Braun Strowman exacting his revenge on the Miz and the Miztourage for their attack on Strowman back at the TLC pay-per-view.
Segment 1: Miz TV
Miz started by cutting a promo on his opponent, Baron Corbin, at Survivor Series. The two have engaged in some sniping on Twitter and have actually built up the match via social media. Afterwards, the Miz invited Kurt Angle to the ring. It does my heart good to see how much Angle enjoys the “You suck!” chants. The Miz showed many clips from the invasion angle (no pun intended) and insinuated that Angle wanted to break up the Miztourage. Angle ended the segment by stating that he had promised Strowman a match against the Miz tonight because Strowman had asked for the match as a favor for agreeing to be on Team Raw at Survivor Series.
Match 1: Guitar on a pole match between Elias and Jason Jordan.
These two have fought multiple times over the past few weeks. Recently the guitar has been added as a weapon. Elias spent the beginning of his promo complaining about Jordan breaking one of his “babies” last week, yet tried to destroy one on Jordan’s head during the match. At least there was no fruit thrown around. Jordan with the win as he hit Elias with the guitar.
Segment 2: Backstage Angle was met by the Bar asking to be the RAW tag team entrants into the Survivor Series match. Angle booked them in a match with the SHIELD as a last chance to win the tag team championships.
Match 2: Asuka vs Stacy Coates. Asuka’s entrance will probably last longer than the match. Unlike last week’s opponent who accidentally hit Asuka with an elbow, this lady missed with a clothesline and that was the extent of her offense. Asuka with the squash. Asuka was named to the Survivor Series women’s team afterwards.
Segment 3: Backstage with Titus Worldwide. Last week’s segment with both Apollo Crews and Titus being choked out via the Coquina Clutch was chronicled. Titus vs. Joe but this time Titus promised to be focused on Joe.
Match 3: Titus vs. Samoa Joe
As Titus and Crews marched to the ring, Joe attacked. He shoved Crews off the ramp and attacked Titus from behind. He locked the Coquina Clutch on and left Titus on the ramp. Joe stormed to the ring and cut a promo stating that it did not matter if you were big or quick. If you stand in his way, Joe will put you down! He challenged any superstar to prove him wrong. Finn Balor answered the call to a huge pop from the crowd.
Match 3 continued: Finn Balor vs. Joe
Balor and Joe put on a good match. Joe used his power to keep Balor grounded. This match lasted through two commercial breaks so it was a good and long display for both athletes. Balor has been wrestling quality opponents lately which might be signaling a push for the first ever Universal champion. Joe has also looked strong since returning from injury. The efforts of the two elicited a “This is awesome!” chant from the crowd. Balor countered a Coquina Clutch. Joe rolled away from the Coup de Gras. The match ended in a double count out. Probably a safe way to protect both wrestlers. The fight continued after the match as the refs desperately tried to pull the combatants apart. Eventually Angle came out and praised the action and passion of the two and named them both to Team RAW. Balor and Joe “celebrated” by attacking each other again.
Segment 4: Backstage Angle was heard leaving a message for Daniel Bryan when he was approached by Jason Jordan. Angle praised Jordan’s efforts even when he had been defeated. He (Angle) mentioned that his job was on the line at Survivor Series and needed a person he could trust. He named Jordan as the final member of Team RAW. Could this be foreshadowing a Jordan betrayal? I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’…
Segment 5: Interview with Bailey and Sasha making their case to be on the Survivor Series Women’s team. Sasha and Bailey vs. Nia Jax and Alicia Fox tag team next.
Match 4: Bailey and Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax and Alicia Fox
The crowd spent a lot of time singing to Bailey but that did not help much once Nia entered the ring. She used her power to fight off most attempts at offense from Sasha and Bailey. Sasha and Bailey were finally able to use a double-team effort to drop Nia over the top rope. With Nia eliminated, Sasha submitted Alicia with the Bank’s Statement. After the match, Fox chose Sasha for the team as the WWE writers continue the slow burn schism between Banks and Bailey.
Segment 6: Recap of TLC match when Kane and Strowman fought.
Match 5: Braun Strowman vs. The Miz
Strowman to the ring. Out came the Miz accompanied by the Miztourage. In the opening moments of the match, the Miz tried to use distraction from Dallas and Axel to sneak up on Strowman. Strowman is pretty quick for a big guy and he chased Miz down and pulled Miz into the ring by his floppy hair. Strowman man-handled the Miz and laid waste on the outside to Axel and Dallas. Then Kane’s music hit and out came the Demon! The two behemoths traded blows. Kane went for the chokeslam and got a handful of beard. Strowman powered out of it. He dropped Kane with a running powerslam but Kane sat right up. Strowman clotheslined Kane over the rope. The Miztourage attacked while Strowman’s back was turned. Braun fought them off and destroyed the Miz. Match ended in a DQ with Strowman the victor.
Segment 7: Backstage interview with the SHIELD. Ambrose and Rollins promised to make short work of the BAR and then go out on the town for fish and chips and a few pints. SHIELD vs. the BAR later tonight.
Segment 8: Enzo “the biggest thing to enter the UK since the Bubonic Plague” (his words) entered the ring. Enzo cut a heel promo that put down both the fans and Kalisto. It went a bit long. Enzo complained that Angle and Kalisto had a conspiracy against Enzo. Graves muttered that he was going to take a nap for a few minutes. Mercifully Kalisto’s music hit and he interrupted Enzo’s soliloquy. Kalisto did not come to fight, however, he was there to watch. Enzo’s opponent was Pete Dunne, WWE’s UK champion! Angle announced a cruiserweight vs. the bruiser weight match. The local champ had the chance to shut up the Realest G.
Match 6: Pete Dunne vs. Enzo Amore
Dunne used some both power and submission moves to ground Enzo. Enzo pulled Dunne into the ropes on a rope break and took over. Graves was stunned as Enzo attempted an actual wrestling move. Enzo went for the pin with his feet blatantly on the ropes which Kalisto was quick to point out to the ref. The ref stopped the count. Enzo turned his back on Dunne to yell at Kalisto and ate a “Bitter End” twisting pump-handle slam and Dunne was the winner. Kalisto mocked Enzo in the ring.
Segment 9: Backstage interview with Alexa Bliss. Bliss was asked about Natalya. Bliss scoffed at running from Natalya and promised to run circles around Natalya. Bliss added that Natalya was never champion when she was on Smackdown.
Match 7: SHIELD vs. The BAR
Sheamus and Caesaro got some cheap heat by wearing a rival soccer club’s jersey to the ring.
The SHIELD and the Bar put on a great match. Not getting to the other side of the “pond” often, the writers made sure to get in almost all of the signature moves of the teams and teased a few different near falls. The crowd was just getting to their feet for a standing ovation when the New Day’s music hit. The New Day entered through the crowd. The announcers put over the fact that the rest of the Smackdown roster could already be in the back. The New Day complimented the three hour “B” show that Raw just put on. A cut-away to Kurt Angle rallying Raw superstars backstage. The RAW locker room ran out to the ring. The New Day provided the distraction and Sheamus Brogue-kicked Rollins while Caesaro stopped Ambrose from entering the ring. One, two, three and your new tag team champs are the Bar! The RAW superstars milled around the ring as there was no one to fight and Rollins and Ambrose were left to answer the question of how did this happen?
It will be interesting to see what RAW does with the SHIELD in terms of Survivor Series. I cannot see the SHIELD being left off of the show altogether. RAW only has a couple weeks to get a measure of revenge and the writers have done a good job of stringing that angle out for maximum effect.
Good night from the UK!