This Week In The WWE: 11/15-11/21

When it comes to this year’s Survivor Series, things look great at the top.

We’re all excited to see just how The Undertaker will give his Final Farewell and just how will the WWE present it to us. It’s rumored that we could have guests like Kurt Angle, The Godfather to be joined by Triple H and Shawn Michaels. The Phenom deserves a proper send=off! 

Outside of the traditional 5-on-5 matches, it’s champion vs. champion across the board. Roman Reigns vs. new RAW champion Drew McIntyre has that big fight feel. Asuka vs. Sasha Banks, although we’ve seen it before on multiple times, is still very good no matter the venue. Plus, The New Day and The Street Profits looks really good on paper and actually has some history lately with Big E supporting his teammates from across the show on SmackDown. I wonder if we get a heel turn for TSP and they end up beating up Big E at some point. Not really feeling the Sami Zayn vs. Bobby Lashley match as there’s no real consequence and no real heat between the two.

As for those elimination matches, both have done nothing in the build-up to their respective matches. It’s been all about how Team RAW hates each other. What a difference a year makes as one year ago, we were all excited about how Team NXT would fare across the board against RAW and SmackdDown. This year, do we really care which side wins? Not me folks. All of the bickering has left me disinterested as I’m sure the WWE will try to force some kind of Lana survives angle only to be dropped through a table again.

We’ll have predictions later, but for now, here’s the updated card:

  • The Undertaker’s Final Farewell
  • WWE Champion Drew McIntyre vs. Universal Champion Roman Reigns
  • RAW Women’s Champion Asuka vs. SmackDown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks
  • RAW Tag Team Champions The New Day vs. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Street Profits
  • United States Champion Bobby Lashley vs. Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn
  • 5-on-5 Women’s Survivor Series Elimination Match (RAW – Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, Lacey Evans, Peyton Royce, Lana vs. Ruby Riott, Bianca Belair, Liv Morgan, Bayley, Natalya)
  • 5-on-5 Men’s Survivor Series Elimination Match (Keith Lee, Sheamus, Braun Strowman, AJ Styles, Riddle vs. Kevin Owens, Jey Uso, King Corbin, Seth Rollins, Otis)
  • Dual Brand Battle Royale (Kick-off Show)

Star of the Week:

Leon Ruff – Why not?! In the past two weeks, Ruff’s won two matches over Johnny Gargano and the North American Championship to boot! He’s stood up to Damian Priest and shown he’s more than just a jobber. Well done Leon!


RAW

RESULTS

  • Asuska, Dana Brooke, Mandy Rose defeated Shayna Baszler, Nia Jax & Lana
  • RAW Tag Team Championship Match: The New Day defeated Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin to retain titles
  • RETRIBUTION defeated Braun Strowman, Riddle, Sheamus & Keith Lee
  • Bray Wyatt defeated The Miz
  • WWE Championship Match: Drew McIntyre defeated Randy Orton to win title

Monday Night RAW was all about the main event folks. Putting the title back on Drew McIntyre, as we’ve said before, is a good move. Randy Orton earned his win at Hell in the Cell, but Orton vs. Reigns had no feel for it. In just 5 seconds last Friday night, McIntyre and Reigns already felt like a heavyweight fight. They have history in the Royal Rumble. And they have the look of two big behemoths battling for one night and one night only (for now). I ilke it. I love it. I want some more of it. Good move for Survivor Series and for Monday nights beyond. Now, where does this leave Orton for Survivor Series? Also, I am digging the McIntyre/Sheamus vibe with their backstage vignettes. I wonder if Sheamus is lulling his old friend to sleep only to turn on him for a title show?

Now, outside of The New Day’s title defense of the RAW Tag Team Titles, the rest of RAW wasn’t really that good.

RETRIBUTION vs. Team RAW was just a waste of time and I’ll be ecstatic that we don’t have to hear about captains and who doesn’t like each other between Keith Lee, Sheamus, Riddle, AJ Styles and Braun Strowman any more. I have no rooting interest in any of it. The same can be said on the women’s side of Team RAW as well. Enough of Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler against Lana. YAWN! And now they drop Dana Brooke & Mandy Rose for Lacey Evans & Peyton Royce. Does nothing for me either way, although Evans is an upgrade, not that they’ll do anything with it, though.

Another Angel Garza vignette. Why?! Ditto for Jeff Hardy and Elias dredging up the whole car angle again. It wasn’t believable then. It’s not believable now. Move on!

Bray Wyatt vs. The Miz was kind of just there. How quickly we forget that The Miz hated Wyatt/The Fiend for being in his daughter’s room, right? If nothing else, we got a really cool Alexa Bliss flip over John Morrison. Speaking of Bliss, I guess we finally have the kick-off of the Bliss/Nikki Cross feud.


NXT

RESULTS

  • NXT North American Championship Match: Leon Ruff defeated Johnny Gargano by DQ to retain title
  • Blindfold Match: Dexter Lumis vs. Cameron Grimes went to no-contest
  • Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell defeated Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro
  • KUSHIDA defeated Arturo Ruas
  • Ember Moon & Toni Storm defeated Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez
  • Timothy Thatcher defeated August Grey
  • NXT Women’s Championship Match: Io Shirai defeated Rhea Ripley

Ladies Night. War Games. OMG! NXT worked on every level this week.

Wednesday night was on fire at Capitol Wrestling Center. Kudos to the women’s division that stole the night! Io Shirai and Rhea Ripley absolutely ripped it apart in the main event in another NXT classic championship match where both ladies come out strong and Shirai looks unstoppable at the top. Adding to that, we got the announcement from Shotzi Blackheart that War Games is coming December 6th. It looks like we’ll get Candice LeRae, Indi Hartwell, Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai against Blackheart, Ember Moon, Toni Storm and TBD in what is shaping up to be an amazing match. BTW: Moon and Storm are everything Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose whould be on RAW. I can see them being future tag champs if the WWE wanted to go down that route. They are that damn good! Another good showing too for Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro. Losing to LeRae & Hartwell is nothing to be ashamed of as they’re getting better each week.

On the men’s side of War Games, NXT Champion Finn Balor returned to close the show. But, when Baor was challenged to bow down his title to Pat McAfee and his new crew – The Kings of NXT, Balor brought out the returning Adam Cole and the rest of The Undisputed Era. Chaos closes the show as McAfee takes a wicked stiff shot to the face from Cole to end the night. TUE are veterans of War Games and it should be interesting to see how McAfee, Oney Lorcan, Danny Burch and Pete Dunn fare in their debut in the cages! It’ll also be interesting to see if McAfee actually gets into the match or if there’s a fourth member coming to join The Kings of NXT.

Elsewhere, good for Leon Ruff! Good to see him standing up to both Johnny Gargano and Damien Priest as he hangs on to this title when Priest clocks him to give him the DQ win, a DQ finish that actually works for the storyline, unlike so many of the DQ finishes on RAW and SmackDown.

We all could’ve done without the Blindfold Match between Dexter Lumis and Cameron Grimes. But then again, we told you that was coming last week and we’re glad it’s over!

KUSHIDA still rocks. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Timothy Thatcher will be a physical beating for both men.

Finally, who is the “she” that is coming according to BOA?


SMACKDOWN

RESULTS

  • The New Day & The Street Profits defeated Sami Zayn, King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode
  • Last chance Survivor Series Qualifying Match: Natalya defeated Tamina
  • Murphy defeated Seth Rollins
  • Daniel Bryan defeated Jey Uso

Good to see The New Day and The Street Profits playing nice before their Survivor Series match. No shortage of bravado on either side, but they put it aside for an opening 8-man tag team victory over Sami Zayn, King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode. Good match to kick things off, but they continue to misfire with Big E. Otis gets the nod to join Team SmackDown. Meh. Would’ve rather seen Big E get the nod. Looks like he’ll be limited to have some type of invovlement in the tag team match.

Nice to see Bayley trying to unite the SmackDown Survivor Series women’s team now that it’s complete with herself and Natalya being added Friday night. I agree with Corey Graves. The SmackDown team looks stacked in comparison to Team RAW. Natalya’s match with Tamina was a snoozer though.

Less continues to be more when it comes to Roman Reigns. Perfect placement of course with Roman at the head of the contract table. Even when faced with a challenge from another show, WWE Champion Drew McIntyre, it’s still the same message. Reigns is THE CHAMPION and your tribal chief – the head of the table. All the arrogance continues to flow with a line of love. “You will always be my favorite #2” will live in WWE history as a great line from Reigns to McIntyre. It’s going to be a war come Sunday night between these two! Now, that’s good business for everyone.

Murphy vs. Seth Rollins put forth a good final chapter as Buddy finally gets the better of his former mentor, the Messiah. Murphy’s Law says Rollins is in for some time off after Survivor Series to welcome the birth of his child with Becky Lynch. It’s a good time for a break and to see what’s next for Murphy, Aalyan and the rest of the Mysterio family. I did think the celebration was cut short, maybe due to time constraints.

SmackDown had a little too much talking this week, but it did get all of the main stars together from both shows to hype the PPV, which, at the end of the day, is the main job of the go-home show – give me a reason to want to watch the PPV. In that vein, it worked. It was kind of odd having Asuka just watch as Carmella beat Banks down in front of her though. Doesn’t help Asuka to help her and it moves forward Carmella’s story to take Banks out for a title shot after Survivor Series. So, for that reason, it worked on both fronts.

Daniel Bryan is a national treasure! Returning to face Jey Uso in a hard-hitting main event, Bryan again saw himself going through a table. Uso tried to make Bryan see there was nothing personal, but of course it’s all personal with family business. But, in true babyface form, Bryan gets his revenge with a sweet rollup for the victory. Could we get Bryan vs. Reigns up next for the title when Uso couldn’t get the job done? Sign me up!


Parting Shots:

So, will we really get The Rock vs. Roman Reigns at the Main Event of WrestleMania 37? The only way it happens is 1)it has to fit into The Rock’s schedule 2)there has to be fans. We would all love to see the fight for who’s truly at the head of the tribal table and just watching to see Reigns believe he is on The Rock’s level would be interesting. But, no fans = no match. No need to waste it with no in-person reaction.

It’ll be interesting to see how the WWE changes the look of ThunderDome when it moves from the Amway Center in Orlando to the spacious Tropicana Dome in Tampa. Going from a 20,000 arena to a indoor stadium will create different opportunities visual and could lead to letting in fans if the COVID-19 pandemic allows.


Survivor Series Predictions:

  • WWE Champion Drew McIntyre vs. Universal Champion Roman Reigns has a funky finish. Either it goes to a no-contest or Reigns wins via DQ with Randy Orton and The Fiend involved.
  • SmackDown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks defeats RAW Women’s Champion Asuka
  • RAW Tag Team Champions The New Day defeat SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Street Profits
  • United States Champion Bobby Lashley defeats Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn
  • 5-on-5 Women’s Survivor Series Elimination Match – Team Smackdown (Ruby Riott, Bianca Belair, Liv Morgan, Bayley, Natalya) defeats Team RAW (RAW – Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, Lacey Evans, Peyton Royce, Lana) with Bianca Belair surviving
  • 5-on-5 Men’s Survivor Series Elimination Match –  Team Raw (Keith Lee, Sheamus, Braun Strowman, AJ Styles, Riddle) defeats Team SmackDown (Kevin Owens, Jey Uso, King Corbin, Seth Rollins, Otis)

Coming up this week:

RAW:
Survivor Series fallout

NXT:
The Road to WarGames continues
Kevin Owens guest commentator

SmackDown:
Survivor Series fallout


Thanks for letting us share our thoughts! Shoot me an email at jcrowe567@gmail.com. We’d love to hear your comments and suggestions! You can also check out my blog, The Crowe’s Nest as we delve into more pro wrestling, sports entertainment and the World of Sports. My apologies ahead of time – I AM a Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins fan! If you’re not down with that, I’ve got TWO WORDS for you… NEW ENGLAND