November 7, 2016
From the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland
Your hosts are Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, and Michael Cole
We get a recap of last week to start as we saw Seth Rollins staring down Roman Reigns to end the show after saving him from Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens.
Stephanie McMahon comes out to the ring as the show starts. She tells us that GM Mick Foley is unable to be here tonight before sucking up to the crowd. She talks about RAW being in the fight of their lives against Smackdown at Survivor Series then does a Goldberg chant after hyping his match against Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series. She welcomes out the four previously announced RAW team members (Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Roman Reigns, and Braun Strowman). Stephanie then announces the final member of the team and its Seth Rollins. Owens tells Stephanie its a joke for Rollins to be on the team. Rollins says its not and RAW needs him to win. He also hints about being promised something if he joined this team. Stephanie then shows them their opponents as Stephanie gives them a pep talk and ends by saying their jobs depend on it. Owens tells the guys that Stephanie was right and they need to get back on the same page as he and Jericho talk about making mistakes with Reigns and Rollins. Owens tells them all it needs to be a well-oiled machine, unlike their stupid group The Shield as he brings up how they turned on each other. Owens & Jericho keep agitating Reigns & Rollins then get attacked as Strowman looks on. Reigns and Owens fight outside as Strowman tosses Rollins and Jericho around. Strowman heads out to staredown Reigns then Stephanie gets on the ramp and says tonight is the final night to settle their differences as they will be facing off in a Fatal Five-Way match as her music plays to end the segment.
There is just no heat at all for any of these RAW vs. Smackdown matches at the Survivor Series. And, if Stephanie is so determined to beat her brother for bragging rights, why is she having her team fight each other less than two weeks before Survivor Series? It does not make any sense.
We see a clip of Brian Kendrick retaining the Cruiserweight Title last week as he will be teaming with a new debuting superstar tonight.
Rich Swann & Sin Cara vs. Noam Dar & Brian Kendrick
Nice reaction for Dar in his hometown. He starts off with Swann and gets two with a dropkick. Dar gets backed into the corner as Sin Cara tags and tosses Dar outside then he flies out with a tope. Kendrick yanks Cara off of the top rope behind the ref’s back as we head to break. We return as Kendrick is working over Cara. Dar tags and hits a back suplex for two before applying a chinlock. Cara breaks out and deadlifts Dar for a powerbomb as both men are down. Both men tag out as Swann runs wild. Kendrick gets his feet up on a charge but Swann takes him off of the top with a hurricarana then hits a rolling frog splash for two. Dar makes the save as the crowd cheers then the match breaks down as Cara flies out to hit Dar with a senton then Swann rolls up Kendrick for the win (6:58) *3/4. After the match, Kendrick grabs the mic and blames Dar for the loss and calls him a loser for how he did in the Cruiserweight Classic. He then compares him to TJ Perkins for failing when it matters the most then cheap shots him down. However, Dar fights back and takes Kendrick down with an enziguiri.
Thoughts: To sum this up: Hometown guy gets paired up with the heel champion. Heel champion eats the pin in a match where the crowd only cheered for the hometown guy. The segment ends with the hometown guy laying out the champ after getting sucker punched. Dar should have been presented as a face to start. Hell, you could have had him face Kendrick, who could win by cheating, and then do what they did after the match. The booking of the Cruiserweight Division has just been horrendous. Brian Kendrick is not the person the division needs as a champion. And this match was nothing special at all and wrestled at a fairly slow pace. Swann wins again so I guess he will get a title shot in the future.
We get a lengthy video package on Goldberg.
Stephanie is on the phone in her office speaking to someone as she cannot be on Smackdown Live tomorrow night as she has a meeting in the United States. She does invite Daniel Bryan and her brother Shane to appear on RAW next week. She vents a bit to Zayn then tells him he irritates her and how Mick Foley selecting him to answer Dolph Ziggler’s open Intercontinental Title challenge is ridiculous as she believes it belongs to Rusev. So, they will be facing off tonight and the winner will face Ziggler as Stephanie tells Zayn how if he wins he better bring the IC Championship back to RAW.
Watching Stephanie dress down the talent is really getting old. This segment made Zayn come off as a spineless loser, just a few weeks after he had the balls to step up to Strowman.
Enzo & Big Cass head out to the ring. They go through their bit before addressing team Smackdown Live team then the other members of the Team RAW Tag Team match (Golden Truth, Cesaro & Sheamus, and The Club) head out as the captains, The New Day, will address everyone after the break. We return as the New Day still have not come out so Sheamus grabs the mic and puts over Ireland as the crowd boos. Cesaro makes a comment of how they like him here as much as they do everywhere else as that gets zero reaction. Sheamus taunts the crowd then declares himself as the captain but Cesaro says he is as the crowd actually cheers that. This leads to all the teams bickering and it goes on forever until the New Day finally come out. They are dressed like they are from the film “Braveheart.” Xavier has the bagpipes and this leads to more talking as Sheamus and The Club say they are out of this match. Big E does a parody of the speech from the film as the crowd cheers. Enzo tells the New Day he likes them, despite the fact he does not know what they have been smoking from their bagpipes. The Golden Truth say they are now with them as Cesaro tells them they are in too. This leaves The Club as Anderson says they will stab them in the back at fist chance as Gallows is sick of their jokes as he runs down the Smackdown teams. The New Day reply to The Club if they are jokes then what makes them seeing as they have beaten them repeatedly as we then learn Stephanie made the New Day vs. The Club tonight and that will happen next.
This just went on for far too long. The crowd loved the New Day and was into everything they did but this lasted over 12 minutes to perform a Braveheart joke and to set up a tag match.
Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows vs. Kofi Kingston & Big E w/ Xavier Wood
This match started during the break. The New Day work over Anderson in the corner and hit the Unicorn Stampede. Big E gets caught with a kick to the back of the head from Gallows, who then tags in and stomps a mudhole in the corner. Big E continues to get worked over as Anderson now works a chinlock on the mat. Gallows tags and drops a few elbows before he applies a chinlock. Big E dodges an attack then makes the tag as Kofi runs wild on Anderson. He tosses Gallows outside then lands a spin kick. Big E tags but Gallows boots him in the face. Anderson then catches Kofi with a spinebuster and they hit Big E with the Magic Killer for the win (6:36) *1/2.
Thoughts: Boring match. The crowd barely even cared about the New Day despite loving them the segment prior. Looks like they are going to give Gallows & Anderson some wins now, after their credibility has vanished due to constantly losing, and once again the champs lose clean on TV as its almost getting to the point where we are trained to expect all champions to lose in non-title matches.
Backstage, R-Truth tells Goldust that they could use a vacation as they traded their spot in the Survivor Series match for a timeshare at the Shining Stars resort. Goldust gets upset then puts on his glasses to view the brochure as he finds out the place does not have a roof and there was also a really bad Jimmy Buffett/buffet joke tossed in as well.
We now get a video package on Brock Lesnar to hype up his match against Goldberg at the Survivor Series. It ends with Cole telling us that both men will be together in the same ring next week.
Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens are walking backstage. Jericho is pissed over Strowman tossing him around earlier on tonight. He wants to give him a piece of his mind as Owens believes they should try to get him on their side. Jericho barges in Strowman’s dressing room and we get some Good Cop, Bad Cop play as Owens tries to recruit him for their team. Strowman thinks it over briefly before getting up and yelling how he is on “Team Braun” as he walk out. Jericho then puts him on the list. We’ve now established Strowman as a man who stands alone. That is a good thing.
Another vignette promoting Emmalina appears.
Golden Truth vs. Shining Stars
Apparently, the winner of this gets to be on the RAW Team at Survivor Series. R-Truth boots Epico, who has trying to hand him a brochure. Truth then hits a leg drop for two but gets caught in the wrong corner. Primo tags and hits a dropkick then the Stars get two with a double suplex as they cut off the ring. The Stars slow down the pace with chinlocks as the crowd amuses themselves with chants. Truth catches Epico with a leg lariat then makes the tag as Goldust runs wild on Primo. Epico distracts Goldust with a brochure but it gets ripped up. Truth comes in to take care of Epico but Primo sneaks up behing Goldust with a rollup and puts his feet on the ropes for the win (5:30) 3/4*.
Thoughts: A dreadfully boring match between two teams at the bottom of the card. It seems like Goldust is getting fed up with R-Truth and might turn on him but who knows at this point. The Shining Stars gimmick is crap and what happened to Epico? He used to have talent at one point but now is pudgy and appears unmotivated.
Michael Cole is in the ring. He tells us that “fantasy warfare” gets real in two weeks at the Survivor Series when RAW goes up against Smackdown. Cole then welcomes Charlotte to the ring as we will learn who makes up the rest of the Team RAW women. Charlotte puts herlself over the Cole brings out Nia Jax as Charlotte sucks up to her. Jax then tells Charlotte she does not work for her. Alicia Fox is introduced next as she is put over as a former champion and having 10 years of experience. Cole even brought up her past issues with Jax. Bayley is introduced next as the crowd cheers. She hugs Cole then vows to prove she will not be the weak link of the team as the crowd sings for her as she tries to put over her excitement for the Survivor Series. They continue to speak after she stumbled through her lines even when Charlotte yells at them. Charlotte then takes the honor of introducing the final member, someone who made her a better person and someone who she has history with as Dana Brooke comes out. Cole then says no disrespect to Dana but the 5th member is someone else as Sasha Banks heads out to the ring. Charlotte then tells Sasha she picked Dana as an alternate because of all her injuries. Sasha says everyone knows Team RAW needs the Boss to defeat Smackdown as Charlotte tells her about having swagger “phonier than Lindsay Lohan’s newest fake accent” in a line that did not get over whatsoever. Charlotte and Sasha bicker until Jax stands in front of Sasha.
The crowd absolutely loved Bayley and would not stop singing once she came out. However, the segment itself was a complete mess and Bayley botched her just about all of her lines. Its fun to be in a crowd and sing along but watching live on TV, this segment did nothing for me at all. Just more teams built with people feuding against each other.
Charlotte & Nia Jax & Bayley vs. Alicia Fox & Bayley & Sasha Banks
Bayley shoves Jax, who does not budge. Jax places Bayley up top and toys with her for a bit. Fox tags in and gets shoved down. Jax backs Fox into the corner then slams her down before tagging out. Charlotte chops Fox in the corner but Fox fights back and tags Sasha as they hit a double suplex. Charlotte immediately tags out as Dana enters and gets knocked down. Charlotte gets dropkicked outside as Jax comes out to tell them to get back inside then gets hit with a triple baseball slide with minimal effect. Back inside, Sasha works a front facelock. Jax tags as Sasha ducks a corner attack and lands some kicks before getting run over as we head to break. We return as Sasha is getting worked over. Charlotte knocks Bayley off of the corner then Sasha fights her off and makes the tag. Bayley runs wild on Charlotte then Dana runs in to break up the pin as the match breaks down. Jax flings Fox into the corner as Cole calls her an “impressive human being.” Charlotte tries to hit Sasha with a double knee smash but accidentally hits Jax then soon after that Bayley hits Charlotte with the Bayley-to-Belly for the win (11:44) *3/4.
Thoughts: Good win for Bayley who needs some momentum if she is going to feud with Charlotte. Her feud against Dana did not do her any favors. Hopefully, her momentum tonight can carry over when the WWE returns stateside. The match itself was not particularly exciting or anything though.
Rollins is backstage when he is asked by Charly Caruso why he joined team RAW. Rollins says he did due to the fact he was promised “future opportunities” but Strowman comes out to say he might not have a future after tonight. Strowman then says he never liked Rollins and tonight he will snap him like a twig as Rollins jokes about how there is now another person who does not like him. Rollins’ reaction to Strowman here was just pathetic. Who thought that was a good line to use in this situation? It was way too contrived. And I hope they actually have a plan for Rollins to reveal these “future opportunities” because this whole storyline with Stephanie and himself has been terrible.
Rusev vs. Sami Zayn
Rusev attacks Zayn to start then starts gouging his face. Rusev continues to rough up Zayn, who fights back and hits a dropkick as Rusev takes a breather outside as we head to break. We return with Rusev working a chinlock in the ring but Zayn fights back. Rusev rams Zayn into the corner but charges as Zayn pulls down the ropes. Zayn flies out with a tope con hilo then gets two with a flying body press from the top. Rusev blocks a back suplex attempt then lands a roundhouse kick for a nearfall. Zayn dodges an attack in the corner but eats boot trying the Helluva Kick as that gets two. Rusev heads up top but Zayn uses the Helluva Kick to knock him off and covers for the win (8:50) **1/4.
Thoughts: Disappointing match. The finish fell flat too and a bit contrived IMO as when does Rusev ever go up to the top rope? Anyway, seems like they are trying to give Zayn some momentum tonight and as for Rusev, I’ll just say he deserves a lot better. He should be a star but the company is trying to present him as a chump.
Seth Rollins vs. Braun Strowman vs. Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns
Owens & Jericho attack Rollins, leacing Reigns and Strowman in the ring. Jericho & Owens then stand beside Strowman but Jericho gets knocked down as Owens bails as Strowman and Reigns have another staredown. Reigns lands a few shots but runs into a clothesline. Strowman heads outside as Rollins pulls out a kendo stick from underneath the ring and fires away. Rollins then pulls out a table but gets knocked down by Strowman as we head to break. We return as Strowman clotheslines Rollins then hits Reigns with his reverse chokeslam. Owens then tries to get on Strowman’s good side but throws a cheap shot and gets decked. All four men surround Strowman and attack but get shoved away. They attack Strowman again as Reigns sends him to the floor with a Superman Punch. Rollins takes Owens down with a sling blade then we end up with Rollins and Reigns in the ring. Strowman gets up on the apron but Reigns knocks him off then Rollins flies out with a tope. They are all outside as Reigns & Rollins look at the table and set up Strowman for a powerbomb but Jericho & Owens break that up. Reigns knocks Strowman on the table with a Superman Punch off of the steps but Owens rams him into the barricade then rips up a “I Love Roman” sign. Owens mocks Reigns before hitting him with a cannonball then tries the same to Rollins but that fails as Rollins sends him into the barricade then powerbombs Jericho on top of Strowman and through the table. Back inside, Rollins almost puts Owens away. Owens tries for the Pop-Up Powerbomb but Rollins blocks that and hits the Pedigree. Jericho yanks the referee outside then Rollins takes him out with a tope. Back inside, Rollins hits Jericho with a Pedigree then Owens breaks that up and Reigns hits Owens with a Superman Punch but Owens falls on top of Jericho and ends up getting the win (14:39) **1/2.
Thoughts: The match itself was okay although the finish was a little too cute. At least they continued the problems between Owens and Jericho. However, the goal here was to get Strowman over as he had a few staredowns with Reigns that were produced to look like big moments but the crowd did not seem to care outside of booing Reigns.
Final Thoughts: This show sucked. The build for the RAW vs. Smackdown Survivor Series matches has been terrible. All of the teams are feuding with each other going in and unless you are nostalgic for the Survivor Series, I do not see how you can get excited for them.
They at least set up for next week’s show with a Goldberg vs. Lesnar confrontation and the chance Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan will appear so let’s see where that will take us.
However, the main problem with the RAW is the inability to create compelling storylines and characters. They have a PPV in two weeks and the build has been poor. Instead of corporate branding and trying to sell the show on “Fantasy Warfare,” they need to show fans a reason to care by creating an emotional investment in the product. Right now, they are unable to do that as the writing and dialogue are nowhere near good enough for that to happen. The current creative direction makes these shows tough to watch every week.