October 10, 2016
From the Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA
Your hosts are Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, and JBL
Sasha Banks comes out to the ring to open the show. The crowd starts up a “you deserve it” chant as we are shown clips of her winning the Women’s Championship last week. Sasha smiles and says she feels on top of the world but it was not long ago when she was just a fan, dreaming as she watched her hero Eddie Guerrero earn his way into the hearts of the WWE and wanted to be like that. She then talked about wanting to be in the main event like Trish Stratus and did that last week when she became the champion. Sasha talks about the women’ revolution is on a role and that since Charlotte is due a rematch they should up the ante and have the match inside Hell in a Cell. Charlotte then comes out and stops as Rusev & Lana march out past her and head into the ring. Rusev yells at the crowd to settle down then tells Sasha that no one cares about her “stupid” women’s revolution or that she main-evented RAW last week because he is the main event where ever he goes. Charlotte then yanks away the mic and yells at Rusev & Lana for being disrespectful as Charlotte accepts Sasha’s challenge. Rusev takes the mic and calls Charlotte “black swan” but Sasha slaps the mic out of his hand. Lana calls out the women for acting like little girls and that Hell in a Cell is for real men like Rusev but she gets slapped down. The women then shove Rusev out and have a staredown then Roman Reigns heads out to confront Rusev, who yanks off his jacket and shirt. Rusev then bails with Lana as the segment ends with Cole asking its up to GM Mick Foley to make this Hell in a Cell match official.
Decent opening segment. Everyone did a good job on the mic and it set up for two Hell in a Cell matches at the next PPV.
The New Day come out and name off famous duos like the Bash Brothers, Splash Brothers, and Full House as Xavier jokes about they are about to have a full house because Sheamus & Cesaro are coming out soon. They put over Cesaro for being suave and Sheamus as “hot garbage” before bringing up that the two are due a title shot and at Hell in a Cell, they will show them why they are the champions.
Kofi Kingston w/ Xavier Woods & Big E vs. Cesaro w/ Sheamus
Cesaro gets the best of Kofi to start as Cole alerts us that Sheamus is on Facebook live at ringside. They have a standoff outside as Sheamus is on his phone before the break. We return with Cesaro in control. Kofi gets his foot up on a charge and hits a crossbody for two. Kofi hits the Boom Drop but misses the Trouble in Paradise and eats an uppercut. Cesaro gets two with a running boot as Sheamus is taking selfies. Kofi avoids the Neutralizer then botches a springboard move as outside the ring, Sheamus steals Francesca and shoves Xavier. Big E clotheslines Sheamus then Kofi surprises Cesaro with a rollup for the win (7:47) **.
Thoughts: The match was alright but the story here was to illustrate how the mismatched partners are still not on the same page.
Cole lets us know that Foley has made Sasha & Reigns vs. Charlotte & Rusev for tonight.
Clips of Goldberg on ESPN saying the one person he would come back to face in the WWE would be Brock Lesnar but he is not sure if he wants to do it as he already beat Lesnar once before (at WrestleMania XX).
Bayley vs. Cami Fields
Cole mentioned how Bayley’s attack on Dana last week prevented her from accompanying Charlotte at ringside. Bayley gets a nice pop from her hometown crowd. Bayley backs Fields into the corner then they trade go-behinds. Bayley then hits a hip toss and a clothesline before working the arm. She misses a charge as Fields lands a few more forearm smashes then they mistime a sunset flip spot in the corner and shortly after that Bayley hits the Bayley-to-Belly for the win (2:16). After the match, Bayley celebrates on the ramp but gets attacked from behind by Dana Brooke.
Thoughts: The crowd loved Bayley but this was a really bad match as Fields seemed really lost here. The main thing here was to further along the Dana/Bayley feud.
Foley will give his “Hell in a Cell” address later on tonight.
Chris Jericho do a product placement spot for Payday candy bars. It was amusing.
Tony Nese & Drew Gulak vs. Lince Dorado & Sin Cara
Dorado hits Gulak with a rana after reversal sequence. Nese tags as Dorado backdrops Sin Cara on top of him for two. Nese backs Dorado into corner then Nese throat thrust after Gulak tried to take of mask. Gulak in and beats on Dorado before working a Gory Special. Nese grabs headlock then Dorado breaks and hits springboard double elbow smash. Sin Cara tags and runs wild. Nese breaks up deadlift powerbomb. Sin Cara tags and takes Nese out with tope as Dorado hits a rana and a spin kick before getting win with a sunset flip (3:11) *1/2.
Thoughts: Nothing special here. The crowd got behind Dorado a bit when he was in trouble but other than that they was dead. Once again, the cruiserweights are not connecting with the crowd but this was not given enough time to do that here tonight.
Stephanie sees Foley in the hallway. She complements Foley’s custom flanel suit and says wants to join him for his Hell in a Cell address. He agrees and they head off together as we head to commercial. There was no mention of two weeks ago when Stephanie absolutely berated Foley, who took it like a scolded child.
We return with Stephanie and Foley in the ring. Stephanie tells Mick they are cheering for him due to his incredible suit. Stephanie then says that Hell in a Cell will blow No Mercy away and that Foley will tell us all about that. Foley says the women deserve to make history and after meeting with Stephanie, they will have a match inside Hell in a Cell. The crowd does a “Yes” chant then Foley addresses the Universal Title match. He says that match between Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins will also take place inside Hell in a Cell to make it the third match of that type on the show. Owens & Jericho, holding his list, come out to the ring. Owens then sarcastically congratulates Foley on his decision then calls it stupid as he does not want to be in this match because he does not want to end up as an old, washed-up GM. Jericho then says since Foley is granting requests, they should get a jet with both their names on the side. Jericho and Foley go back-and-forth as Jericho puts Foley on the list for putting his friend in the match. Foley notes he was the first person on the list as Jericho said he is now on it again. Jericho asks Stephanie to take care of Foley but is shut down as she tells him to show Foley respect. Stephanie says he listened to Rollins and his grievance and granted him the match. Stephanie then brings up No Mercy’s three-way title match and RAW can do it better so she says if Jericho can beat Rollins tonight in the main event, then he will get put in the title match at Hell in a Cell. Jericho is smiling as he crosses a name off of the list while Owens is not happy.
I liked this segment when Owens & Jericho came out but the constant theme about “making history” when it comes to the women’s Hell in a Cell match got really old fast. You can just sell the match on the long feud they have had. Back to the Owens & Jericho stuff, they’ve done a great job teasing tension between the two and if they turn Jericho face out of this, he’ll be the most over face on the roster. His act is really catching on with the crowds.
Rollins is backstage with Charly Caruso. He talks about Stephanie loving to play the game but if her big idea as to turn Hell in a Cell into “Table for Three” then he will crush those plans. He then talks about being the best piece she ever had but that he is no longer controlled by her then talks about Jericho & Owens having problems if they are both in Hell in a Cell. Rollins then says he is the man who will destroy the machine piece-by-piece. This type of babyface role for Rollins is not working and everything he said here seemed forced. The WWE does a terrible job at scripting babyface wrestlers and needs to cut back on the “snappy” dialogue. It did not do Reigns any favors and its not helping out Rollins whatsoever.
Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel are in the ring for their match. We see a clip of them from the RAW pre-show where Axel went to Foley to put them together in the ring. Enzo & Big Cass come down and do their schtick but Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson attack them from behind in the ring. They hit Enzo with the Boot of Doom then hit Cass with the Magic Killer.
Back from break, Axel & Dallas demand a match and out come Sami Zayn & Neville.
Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel vs. Sami Zayn & Neville
Cole tells us that Zayn & Neville volunteered to team up for this match after Enzo & Cass were taken out. Bo beats on Zayn to start. Axel tags and does the same before knocking Neville off of the apron. Zayn then floats over and suplexes Axel in the corner and tags Neville, who hits the Red Arrow for the pin (2:20). After the match, Bo grabs his campaign sign and leaves.
Thoughts: Just a quick match to establish Zayn & Neville as a team. At least it gives them something to do besides wrestle on Superstars. You never would have know that just under three months ago, Zayn defeated Owens
Charlotte is warming up backstage when Lana interrupts. Lana tells Charlotte she had no right to put her hands on her as Charlotte says she is more physically dominant. Lana says Rusev is her partner for life and to stay out of his way or there will be consequences.
Titus O’Neill vs. R-Truth w/ Goldust
This match was set up via Facebook as Titus is pissed that R-Truth got the Payday sponsorship. Titus takes down R-Truth as while Corey brings up the Titus Brand, Cole says that Truth also has his own brand, which is the “brand of fun.” Good god almighty. Truth fights back until he runs into a big boot. Titus is distracted by Goldust stomping on the stairs and that allows Truth to get a rollup for the win (2:11).
Thoughts: The match sucked but it seems like this new Titus character is a way to bury him. He’s just lost in two minute matches the past few weeks and Cole was even ragging on him during the match. Titus also appears to be getting even worse in the ring. He does have charisma and some likability so he would be better served as a commentator or doing PR work.
Brian Kendrick is backstage and gets in TJ Perkins’ face, who tells him to “hit the pause button.” Perkins then calls Kendrick a greasier Jack Sparrow as they both take a seat. Perkins says he knows Kendrick is not a bad guy but is just afraid he will never get another chance if he loses. Perkins continues with the video game jargon and reminisces about the time Kendrick bought him a new Nintendo 64 when his broke. Perkins its not too late to be the guy he knows he can be and extends his hand. Perkins goes to walk away as Kendrick gets up to throw a cheapshot but Perkins was ready and knocks him down, saying he guesses he was wrong. Some of this was okay but the video game talk was something else. No one would ever talk like that in an every day conversation.
Braun Strowman vs. The Splash Brothers (Steven & Clay)
Saxton interviewed the Splash Brothers before the match. The try to attack Strowman but get swatted away. Strowman has one of the Splash Brothers on his back as he runs around and the attacks the other one. He takes them both down with a double dropkick then hits one of them with a running powerslam and reverse chokeslams the other guy on top and covers them both for the win (1:00). After the match, Strowman grabs the mic and scares off Saxton before demanding better competition for next week.
Thoughts: An entertaining squash match. Strowman beating on two guys at once was quite effective. I approve of him doing this again and again.
Sasha Banks and Roman Reigns are talking backstage as they do some mild flirting while discussing their match tonight.
We get a video package complete with facts about the Royal Rumble match as they hype that up. Odd that is mentioned before the Survivor Series.
Rusev & Charlotte vs. Reigns & Sasha Banks
Reigns and Rusev start off. Reigns gets two with a spin kick then hammers away in the corner. Reigns fights back as the crowd cheers for Sasha. Reigns hits some corner clotheslines then gets his leg pulled by Charlotte. Sasha goes out to fight Charlotte as Reigns dumps Rusev as we head to break. The action returns as Rusev hits Reigns with a dropkick for a nearfall. Suplex gets two. Reigns comes back with a Superman Punch as both men are down. The crowd is rallying behind Reigns as then Charlotte tags as Sasha comes in and runs wild. She gets a nearfall with her knee drop in the corner. Charlotte tries a rollup but gets put in the Banks Statement. Rusev tries to break it up but Reigns spears him in a great looking spot as Charlotte taps out (9:57) **1/2.
Thoughts: Solid match. The end looked great as this hypes up the matches for the PPV. The crowd was really into Sasha but did not care about Reigns.
Jericho & Owens are backstage looking over the list. Tom Phillips approaches to ask about the possibility of the two facing each other inside Hell in a Cell. They both call him a ridiculous as there is obvious tension between the two. Jericho said since they are friends if one of them is the champion, then they both are the champion. Phillips then asks Owens about bailing on Jericho last week as Owens says one of them has to stay healthy then Jericho puts Phillips on the list and yells at him to leave.
Clips of Goldberg interview with Jonathan Coachman on ESPN. He talks about not owing Brock Lesnar a rematch and if he came back that would be the match to have. He also put Lesnar over as a monster and that he would have to train hard to get back into shape. Jericho was highly entertaining
Paul Heyman now in the ring. Puts over Brock Lesnar for being on the WWE 2K17 cover then we get clips of Lesnar and Goldberg in the game. Heyman then asks about what if we saw one more spear or jackhammer then says that Goldberg conquered Lesnar in their match. Heyman says he is out here to let the entire WWE Universe know that he is challenged to a fight anywhere, anytime by Brock Lesnar. The crowd chants for Goldberg as Heyman says he can answer the challenge and get victimized and destroyed by Lesnar because in Suplex City, Goldberg is “next.”It certainly looks like the rumors of Goldberg vs. Lesnar are true now.
We get photos of Emma to hype her new “Emmalna” character.
TJ Perkins vs. Ariya Daivari
Kendrick is on commentary and claims he was not attempting to cheap shot him from earlier tonight. Daivari cuts an insert promo in his native tongue. Daivari attacks Perkins before the bell. Perkins fakes out Daivari but gets taken out as Kendrick said this is his last chance because no one wants someone who has failed twice. Perkins then works the leg and applies the kneebar as Daivari reaches the ropes. Daivari attacks Perkins then applies a chinlock as Kendrick talks about always thinking about blowing his prior opportunity in the WWE. Daivari gets two with a neckbreaker then slaps Perkins around but Perkins comes back with a bulldog. Perkins hits a neckbreaker then gets two with a Benadryller. Daivari cuts Perkins off the top rope then blocks a sunset flip . Daivari hits a rolling elbow then gets two with a super kick. Daivari heads up top but misses the frog splash. Perkins comes back with a dropkick then makes Daivari tap with the knee bar (5:15) **1/2.
Thoughts: Crowd was dead but this was a good match. Daivari impressed me and got in a lot more offense than I would have expected. I also liked Kendrick on commentary as he put over his character and title shot against Perkins.
Jericho backstage with a snarl and runs into Stephanie, who comments on his scarf and that she has one at home. She talks about rooting for Jericho, who adds that they never had any problems but he almost put her on the list. Stephanie then tells Jericho once he is inside the cell, there is nothing she can about it but if they are good friends like he says, then he will know what to do. Stephanie leaves as Owens enters and asks Jericho what that was about as Jericho said “friendship” as he pats Owens on the shoulder before leaving.
We get a Hispanic Heritage Month video package on Tito Santana.
After a clip from “Total Bellas,” a tweet from Goldberg flashes on the screen saying he booked his ticket to confront Heyman next week on RAW.
Chris Jericho vs. Seth Rollins
Rollins stomps Jericho in the corner to start after getting a scarf thrown at his face. Jericho rakes the eyes and lands a few chops but Rollins returns the favor. Rollins gets two with a running knee smash then he stays in control. Jericho bails then Rollins kicks him down and heads out to rough him up. Rollins asks “who’s the man, baby” before sending Jericho into the steps. Rollins rolls Jericho inside as Owens’ music hits. Rollins is distracted and gets booted by Jericho, who dumps him on the ropes as we head to break. The match returns as Jericho is stomping on Rollins. Jericho misses an attack and hits his face in the corner as both men are down. They get up and slug it out as we get a dueling chant. Rollins hits an enziguiri then follows with a pair of forearm smashes. He gets two with a sling blade then hits a backbreaker after a reversal sequence for another nearfall. They fight up top as Rollins throws Jericho off but gets dropkicked in midair trying a crossbody as Jericho gets two. Rollins blocks the Codebreaker and gets two with a kick. Rollins hits a knee smash then dropkicks Owens from the apron after getting taunted. Rollins tries a springboard but Jericho blocks and puts him in the Walls of Jericho. Rollins is able to eventually reach the ropes. Owens cheap shots Rollins and Jericho covers but that only gets two. Rollins takes Owens out with a tope then hits Jericho with a springboard knee smash as that gets two. Rollins then misses a frog splash as Jericho hits the Lionsault but that only gets two. Jericho heads up top but Rollins cuts him off. Jericho shoves Rollins off but gets caught with a kick. Rollins tries a Pedigree as Jericho counters and and tries for the Walls of Jericho but Rollins turns that into a small package and gets the win (19:20) ***1/2. After the match, Owens attacks Rollins. He tries for the Pop Up Powerbomb but Rollins blocks that then goes for the Pedigree until Jericho breaks that up. Owens bails as Rollins fights back and hits Jericho with the Pedigree as Cole reminds us that Goldberg will be here next week.
Thoughts: This started off slow but really built up well towards the end. Jericho was more over with the fans than Rollins as this crowd loved him. Owens yet again bailed on Jericho and allowed him to get beat up to create more drama between the two best friends.
Final Thoughts: Overall, this show was okay. Not as good as last week but better than any RAW from the month of September. There was quite a bit of filler here but they hyped up the three Hell in a Cell matches too. Plus, the big news that Goldberg will be returning next week to confront Heyman.
The Owens/Jericho stuff is the best storyline on RAW at the moment. Whatever they are doing with Rollins is just not working now and they did not even bring up Triple H tonight as that storyline has yet to be addressed. RAW needs a top babyface and the lack of having one is hurting the show.
On the Cruiserweight Division, its still struggling to get over with the crowds. I also think they needed a really charismatic and spectacular wrestler to build around but Ibushi did not want to sign and Ricochet is under contract to LU so they did not have much to choose from. Perkins is a very good wrestler but not someone you build a division around.
They have two more shows until Night of Champions and since the top matches have been announced they can concentrate on filling out the rest of the show.