November 20, 2017
From the Toyota Center in Houston, TX
Your hosts are Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Booker T
Stephanie McMahon starts off the live show as the announcers gloat about RAW beating Smackdown at the Survivor Series. Stephanie is also happy because RAW beat Smackdown at Survivor Series and his under siege tactic failed. Stephanie said while Shane learns to strike first in a fight, she learns to win. She also says GM Kurt Angle’s job is safe then welcomes out who she said won the match for RAW, Triple H. However, Kurt Angle comes out before Triple H can speak. Angle tells Triple H this is not the GM talking but rather the Olympic Gold Medalist and WWE Hall of Famer as he tells Triple H he’s coming for him. Stephanie reminds Angle that he’s talking to the COO of the WWE and to not jeopardize his career. Jason Jordan now comes out and talks trash to Triple H but Angle backs him down. Jordan then wants Angle to put him in a match against Triple H tonight but Stephanie says he does not have the authority to make that match. Jordan calls Triple H a coward so Triple H takes off his jacket as Stephanie tells Jordan he’s too naive to realize Triple H is not afraid of him or anyone else in the locker room but that brings out Braun Strowman. Braun stares down at Triple H as the crowd starts up a “yes” chant. Triple H eventually ducks out onto the apron then gets down when Braun approaches. They continue to stare at each other as the crowd gets on Triple H for being a coward. Stephanie then says since Jordan wants a fight and the crowd is “blood thirsty” we will have Jordan vs. Strowman. Angle then backs the two off inside the ring as we head to commercial.
The plus side is that they have a few directions to go here with Triple H versus either Angle or Strowman. However, the segment itself was way too overproduced and nothing felt authentic. Jordan going up against Strowman is happening and that’ll lead to more interactions between Jordan and Angle.
Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe
Joe knocks down Balor then hammers away in the corner. Balor comes back with a dropkick then fires away until Joe runs him over. Joe works a nerve hold but heads up top where Balor knocks him off with an enziguiri before flying out with a tope con hilo just before the break. We return as Joe has Balor in a surfboard. He then takes Balor down with a kick to the face and covers for a two count. Joe goes back to the nerve hold but Balor breaks that up with a jawbreaker. Joe decks Balor but is hit with an upkick as both men are down. Joe eats boot on a charge then Balor starts to run wild. He tosses Joe outside and hits a baseball slide but Joe blocks the apron soccer kick and yanks him down. Joe rolls inside and wipes out Balor with a tope then rolls him inside. Joe hits an STO for a nearfall but Balor blocks an uranage then comes back with a sling blade. Joe sidesteps a dropkick and hits a senton for two then puts on the Coquina Clutch. Balor escapes and hits a double stomp then sends Joe into the corner with a shotgun dropkick. Balor heads up top for the Coup de Grace but Joe gets up and cuts him off before reapplying the Coquina Clutch as he makes Balor pass out and gets the win (12:03) ***.
Thoughts: The match started off slow but picked up after the break. I didn’t mind the finish that much since Balor passed out instead of submitting. However, Balor is someone that still gets some cheers but with how he has been presented lately they are happening less and less. More losses on TV are not going to help him out unless there is a heel turn in the works.
A video package of WWE fans purchasing tickets for WrestleMania.
Also, Roman Reigns will be the guest tonight on “Miz TV.”
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson are backstage telling us about the WWEShop.com Black Friday Deals.
We get a still photo package on last night’s Brock Lesnar vs. AJ Styles match from Survivor Series.
Jordan runs into Angle backstage. Jordan said he only claimed to be 100% because he confronted Triple H. Angle is worried about cancelling the match but Jordan said if he is needed to compete then he will as he’s the only one who can beat Strowman and recalls Angle beating guys 70 lbs heavier than him in the NCAA. Jordan then said after the match Strowman will be telling horror stories about him then leaves Angle smiles proudly over his son’s winning attitude.
Asuka vs. Dana Brooke
This match was the result of what happened last week when Dana shoved Asuka away during her triple threat match to determine the 5th member of RAW’s Women’s team. Dana is in an insert promo blaming Asuka for taking away her opportunity and claims to have been studying Asuka’s matches on the WWE Network and has discovered “holes” in her game and says she will take away her undefeated streak. Asuka kicks Dana then they trade arm wringers until Asuka takes control. She takes Dana off of the apron with a hip attack then mocks Dana’s poses. Asuka continues to dominate Dana until she is cheap-shotted. Dana hammers away then pats her on the head and slaps her but Asuka unloads on her before a buzzsaw kick gets the win (2:34) *.
Thoughts: Watching Asuka destroy Dana was amusing as they are building her up as a force now. Dana I guess is back to being a heel but cut a wooden promo before the match and she really does not appear to have any sort of future with the company.
Miz TV is up next. The Miztourage are with him in the ring. Miz first tells Baron Corbin was relevant for one night but now he’s on to better things. Miz then introduces Roman Reigns, who doesn’t come out, then we get The Shield’s music as they enter through the crowd. Miz said he thought it was clear that just Reigns was the guest. Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins said last night they proved to be the most dominant three-man team in WWE history and are unstoppable. Miz then mocks The Shield and wants a thank you but Reigns says there will never be a situation where they thank him but Miz claims to be the reason The Shield reunion tour started. He then gets the crowd to start a “Thank You, Miz” chant and wants a residual check from their new merchandise sales. The crowd still chants that Miz is awesome as The Shield laugh and say they’ve never heard that chanted before and he should thank the crowd. However, Miz refuses to thank the crowd then calls The Shield ungrateful. Reigns reminds Miz that he lost last night but Miz holds up the Intercontinental Title and says he’s the only champion in the ring. Ambrose & Rollins say they’ll be the Tag Team Champions soon enough but Reigns does not want to be left out. Rollins says Miz has a title and suggests Reigns take that as Reigns challenges Miz to a title match tonight. Bo Dallas shuts up the crowd and says you do not come out on Miz TV to challenge the champ and that you have to go through the Miztourage first. Ambrose jokes that they are so stupid to forget about going through the Miztourage first as Reigns decks Bo. Axel is standing there pointing at his neck brace while Miz flees then ends up getting hit with the Dirty Deeds. The Shield now surround Bo and pummel him as Miz watches from the stage as his colleague is hit with a triple powerbomb. The announcers now wonder whether or not Miz will accept their challenge.
Fun segment with a crowd that loved the Miz but at the same time did not hate The Shield. They have now set up a program for the Intercontinental Title between Miz and Reigns while Ambrose & Rollins will likely get another title shot against The Bar.
A replay from earlier tonight that lead to tonight’s Jordan vs. Strowman main event.
Charly Caruso is backstage with Braun Strowman. She asks him about his match against Jordan, who claims he’s not afraid. Strowman is happy because that makes him different than everyone else, including Triple H.
We now learn that Miz vs. Reigns for the Intercontinental Title will take place tonight.
Dean Ambrose w/ Seth Rollins vs. Sheamus w/ Cesaro
These two go back-and-forth to start. Ambrose ducks his head and gets kicked in the face then rebounds but his booted outside as we head to break. We return as Sheamus works a stretch muffler. Ambrose puls himself up but Sheamus powerbombs him for a nearfall. Sheamus works the arm now then hits a suplex for a two count. Ambrose floats over on a second suplex attempt then starts to fight back. Sheamus hits the post on a charge then Ambrose fires away. Ambrose takes a break as his arm hurts then eats boot on a charge. Sheamus heads up top but Ambrose knocks him off and out to the floor. Sheamus cuts off a tope but whiffs on the Brogue Kick as Ambrose clotheslines him outside. Ambrose flies out with a tope but is distracted as Cesaro attacks Rollins from behind and is rolled up for two. Ambrose rolls up Sheamus and heads up top but Cesaro cuts him off then Sheamus gets up and hits a rolling senton for a nearfall. Sheamus sets up for the Brogue Kick but Rollins runs in and takes out Cesaro with a tope. Sheamus then tries for the kick but misses and Ambrose puts him away with the Dirty Deeds (12:28) ***1/4.
Thoughts: An enjoyable match with a hot crowd. The finish was fun as Ambrose & Rollins got a small amount of revenge for when they lost the Tag Team titles two weeks ago. With the win, a rematch is inevitable. One of the better singles matches Ambrose has had this year.
Matt Hardy is in the locker room with Jordan, who asks him for pointers on facing Strowman. Hardy says of all the biggest men the WWE has had to offer, Strowman is the biggest and baddest and said its a humbling experience to face him in the ring. Hardy said the most important lesson of all that he learned tonight is that sometimes, its just not your night. He then pats Jordan on the shoulder before leaving.
Alexa Bliss heads out to the ring. We are then shown a WWE.com exclusive from last night with Alexa upset over losing as Becky Lynch & Charlotte were walking in the background taking selfies. Alexa talks about the posts on social media patronizing her as she wants us to save that pity of someone else. She talks about only having five days to prepare and taking her to the limit and said Charlotte won out of luck. She then says no woman on the planet can hold a candle to her but is interrupted by Mickie James, who wants to know if the crowd is tired of the hearing the same excuses from “Biscuit Butt.” Bayley comes out next and says she agrees with Alexa in that 2017 is her year. However, Bayley said the year is not over and she’s different than the person she beat but Alexa laughs her off. Sasha Banks is out next and says RAW needs a “Legit Boss” instead of the others in the ring. Alicia Fox is out next and says the boss of the RAW’s women team should have that opportunity. Alexa calls her “Captain Delusional” and says this has been a waste of time and they do not deserve a championship opportunity and leaves. However, Angle comes out to say she will be facing the winner of the Fatal Four Way match of the four women in the ring. Another segment where Alexa makes the rest of the RAW Women look like clowns. I like Alexa as a talent and character but she just kills any babyface she feuds with. And, having random multi-person matches to crown a #1 contender is really becoming tiresome.
Mickie James vs. Bayley vs. Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox
This match started during the break. We see Mickie and Alicia out on the floor then Bayley rolls up Sasha for two. Mickie breaks up Bayley’s cover then the women trade off until we are left with Mickie and Sasha, who both end up colliding. However, Paige’s music hits and she comes out to the shock of everyone. Paige plays up to the crowd on the ramp before asking the crowd if they missed her as that draws a “yes” chant. Paige then apologizes for interrupting then said she has one thing to say and that is she’s back. She tells the crowd to make more noise then said she did not come alone. Paige walks to the ring but Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose run in to attack from behind. The crowd chants “NXT” as Sasha tries to fight them off but fails. Bayley comes in and goes after Rose but Paige kicks her down then we see Fox run backstage. They lay out the others and get mostly cheers.
Thoughts: This was all about setting up Paige’s return as she is back with two alum from the 2015 Tough Enough class, the season where she was a judge. The crowd dug Paige and the sneak attack was pulled off well and a genuine surprise. A really good segment to shake up a stagnant RAW Women’s Division.
Renee Young is backstage to approach Paige, Deville, and Rose. She asks them to explain what happened as Paige is about to speak but Alexa interrupts. She congratulates them for giving Sasha and Bayley what they deserved. Renee leaves as Paige introduces her new friends to Alexa then Alexa says “nice to meet you” but they do not respond as Paige boots her and they all beat Alexa down. Paige’s return has came off great tonight.
Braun Strowman vs. Jason Jordan
Jordan slaps Strowman then bails then re-enters. He avoids a charge then picks Strowman up and tries to drive him into the corner but his back gives out. Strowman overpowers Jordan, who rolls out and clutches his knee but that allows Kane to run in from behind and attack Strowman for the DQ (1:46). Kane starts beating on Strowman with a chair then puts it against his throat and rams it against the steps. Strowman struggles to breath then starts wheezing as a few officials help him up the ramp.
Thoughts: The Kane/Strowman feud continues, even though the crowd did not seem to care. It also did not help matters any that they had to follow Paige’s return.
Enzo Amore comes out to the ramp with the ‘Zo Train (Drew Gulak, Ariya Daivari, Tony Nese, and Noam Dar). He tells us about still beating the Cruiserweight Champion as Gulak is the lead cheerleader for him. Enzo babbles on then tells us about Thanksgiving and goes to the members of the ‘Zo Train to say how well they are doing. Gulak gets a chance to speak and says his infrastructure has grown by exactly 23% since joining the ‘Zo Train but get interrupted by Rich Swann, Cedric Alexander, Akira Tozawa, and Mustafa Ali. Cedric tells Enzo they’re not here to join him but rather for an opportunity at the Cruiserweight Championship but are willing to earn it unlike his gang of “suck-ups.” Enzo accuses him of being poisoned by Kalisto and that you either get on board or out of his way so Swann challenges him to do it himself because without his boys, he’s nothing but a catchphrase and a t-shirt. A brawl breaks out next as Enzo slips out and starts laughing then we head to break. Enzo’s promo was bad and went on for too long as all this accomplished was making the rests of the Cruiserweights look like losers.
Drew Gulak & Ariya Daivari & Noam Dar & Tony Nese w/ Enzo Amore vs. Rich Swann & Cedric Alexander & Mustafa Ali & Akira Tozawa
Angle made this match official during the break. We are joined to see Gulak grounding Swann with a side headlock. Swann escapes then dropkicks Gulak after an Irish whip sequence. Enzo helps Gulak outside then has the other ‘Zo Train members behind to stare down Swann, whose teammates run behind them. Enzo heads into the ring and Swann goes after him but Gulak cuts him off with a high knee for a two count. The ‘Zo Train neutralize Swann until Dar misses a corner splash then Swann fights everyone off before tagging out. Ali runs wild then Tozawa comes in and wakes the crowd up with his chants before flying out with a tope onto Gulak. Ali makes a blind tag then puts Dar away with the inverted 450 splash (4:18) *.
Thoughts: A nothing match that revolved around Enzo being on the outside. They still need a new #1 contender to feud with Enzo since Kalisto is apparently out of the picture. Crowd was dead for both Cruiserweight segments.
Clips of Kane’s attack on Strowman.
Renee is backstage near the trainer’s room when Angle interrupts. He said that Strowman left the building and refused treatment. Angle then goes in to check on Jordan but Miz comes in pissed that he has to defend the Intercontinental Title against Reigns. Angle does not have time for that but Miz says he is hurt and not going anywhere then Angle yells at him to leave. Jordan said that Hardy was right as Strowman is a monster about men while Angle tells Jordan he did not let him down. This storyline is getting so bad its for the best if dropped immediately and there is no mention of it ever again.
Elias is in the ring. He plays the guitar briefly and says its the sound of success, something none of us can relate with then sings his song about the Survivor Series. The crowd chants for the Astros but Elias yells for them to shut up and said the season is over. He sings about beating Matt Hardy, who is lost without his brother, but Hardy comes out and they start fighting in the ring. Hardy’s arm is all taped up. Looks like these two will be feuding and I’m fine with that.
WWE Intercontinental Title Match: Miz (c) vs. Roman Reigns
Miz bails when the bell rings and stalls outside of the ring. Reigns chases him back inside and takes him down with an uppercut. Miz fights back but Reigns fights him off and deadlifts him with a powerbomb for a two count then we head to break. Back from commercial and both men are down. Reigns then hammers away in the corner with support from the crowd. He takes Miz down with a boot to the face then follows him outside but is hit with a DDT on the floor. Miz rolls inside as the ref counts but Reigns is just able to beat the ten count. Miz hits another DDT and that gets two. Miz uses a chinlock then hits a neckbreaker for a two count. Reigns tries to fight back but misses a clothesline and gets hit with a pair of corner dropkicks. Miz charges again and Reigns gets him on his shoulders but Miz escapes and rolls up Reigns for two. Miz misses a charge in the corner but fights off Reigns before hitting the It Kicks. Reigns is able to catch Miz with a Samoan Drop for two as both men are down. Reigns sets up for the Superman Punch but Miz almost catches him with the Skull Crushing Finale. Miz kicks Reigns in the face for two then connects with a corner clothesline as Booker says tonight is the best Miz has ever looked. Miz comes off of the top but Reigns drills him with the Superman Punch for a nearfall. Reigns sets up for the spear but The Bar run out for the distraction and Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale but Reigns kicks out. Ambrose & Rollins run out and beat down The Bar then Reigns is able to catch Miz with a spear for the win and the Intercontinental Championship (16:26) ***1/2.
Thoughts: Really good match and a nice way to end the show. They sold Reigns as a Triple Crown champion since he previously held the World and United States Titles. The end was fantastic and Miz looked strong in defeat.
Final Thoughts: There was some good stuff here but the show really dragged in the third hour prior to the main event. The way Paige returned was great and gives the Women’s Division and much needed jolt in the arm. However, the Angle/Jordan stuff is still awful and letting Strowman feud with Kane has made for really dull TV and cools off Strowman as a result. Without another RAW PPV in 2017 it appears they’ll close out the year building towards their Royal Rumble plans.