November 20, 2016
From the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Your hosts are Mauro Ranallo, Michael Cole, JBL, Corey Graves, David Otunga and Byron Saxton. They all took turns as the matches all had a four-man booth.
Team RAW (Bayley & Alicia Fox & Nia Jax & Sasha Banks & Team Smackdown Live (Becky Lynch & Alexa Bliss & Naomi & Carmella & Natalya)
Nikki Bella was found laid out backstage as Natalya asked if she was okay then volunteered to take her place. The acting was awful and it was done in a way to make you think Natalya was the one who did the attack. Fox and Carmella, who received zero reaction during her entrance, start off the match. They go back-and-forth for a minute until Becky and Bayley get tagged into the match. Charlotte tags herself in then Sasha tags herself in too as all three are shoving each other. Becky then uppercuts Charlotte and the match breaks down as Jax shoves the Smackdown team down into the corner. Becky and Charlotte mix it up as Becky nearly puts Charlotte in the Disarmer. Jax tags in and goes through the Smackdown team before tagging out as we are back to Fox and Carmella fighting. Carmella misses a Bronco Buster as Fox goes nuts on her in the corner then eliminates her with a scissor kick. She celebrates but Bliss tags in and quickly puts Fox away with the Twisted Bliss as its even again at 4 vs. 4. Naomi is now in as she takes all of Team RAW off of the apron before hitting Jax with a crossbody to the outside. Naomi then kicks Jax from the apron but ends up getting sent into the post then Jax tosses her off as Naomi ends up getting counted out as the crowd was counting along like they did last night at NXT Takeover during Tye Dillinger’s match. Sasha is in and fights off Natalya & Alexa for a bit. She tries to hit Natalya with a lungblower but Alexa makes the save. Sasha hits Alexa but gets rolled up by Natalya from behind and eliminated as it is now 3 vs. 3. I was shocked that a simple rollup did the trick for Sasha here. Charlotte comes in but Natalya takes her down with a discus clothesline then hits a release German suplex, as the crowd chants “Suplex City.” Natalya gets a nearfall with a sitout powerbomb but shortly after that Charlotte fights back and eliminated Natalya with a boot to the face. Becky & Alexa start arguing then finally get on the same page and go after Jax, who ends up hitting them with a double suplex in a cool spot. However, Becky & Bliss regain control and Becky ends up making Jax tap out to the Disarmer. Jax does not take too kindly to that and ends up yanking Becky to the floor and slamming her against the barricade as Charlotte heads in and eliminates Bliss with a boot to the face as its now 2 vs. 1 with RAW having the advantage. Charlotte beats on Becky for a bit but Becky fights back. Bayley tags in and they have a brief staredown until Bayley takes her up and uses a jackknife cover for two. They trade strikes and mix it up for a bit until Bayley hits the Bayley-to-Belly for the win (17:30) **1/2. After the match, Charlotte attacks Bayley and slams her against the barricade a few times before hitting her with a running kick to the face.
Thoughts: The match breezed by but there was nothing here that really stood out much. Charlotte continues her PPV win streak and feud with Bayley, who she destroyed after the match. They made Jax look like a monster at first but she tapped out very quickly after barely suffering any damage. Speaking of Jax, she still needs a lot of work in the ring as her selling was atrocious. She had a really rough sequence with Naomi. Sasha’s elimination was a shock but since she’s lost the belt twice now to Charlotte, I assume a heel turn is coming and a quick elimination will not hurt her if that is the case. Smackdown appears to be going with Natalya vs. Nikki Bella now too.
A confident and happy James Ellsworth is walking backstage when he is confronted by Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows. Anderson compares Ellsworth to Cinderella as Gallows calls him a nerd then uses a lot of chin puns to bully him even further. Mick Foley interrupts and asks Anderson & Gallows if they would like to get bullied and they leave as Ellsworth talks about how much he loves Foley then remembers a few times when he took big bumps then finally makes Foley happy by remembering when he beat The Rock for the WWE World Title. Foley then tries to recruit Ellsworth to RAW but fails as Foley leaves. Ellsworth then turns around and runs into Braun Strowman, who asks Ellsworth if he knows him as Ellsworth hurries away.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: The Miz (c) w/ Maryse vs. Sami Zayn
Cole replaces Ranallo on commentary. Great reaction for Zayn in his home country, who sang along with his theme song. These two end up in a stalemate after trading arm wringers. Zayn takes Miz down with an armdrag then uses a rollup for two as Cole notes that Zayn is 3-0 against Miz, who rolls out for a breather. Zayn teases a dive then ends up getting pulled outside and whipped into the apron. Zayn comes back with a moonsault off of the barricade but Maryse provides a distraction, allowing Miz to chop block Zayn. Back inside, Miz works over the leg. Zayn escapes and hits a chop in the corner as JBL comments that he looks like a “paperboy.” Miz ducks underneath Zayn in the corner and takes him down as he goes back to work on the legs. Zayn pulls the ropes down on Miz then sets up for a dive but Miz yanks him down from the floor. Miz pulls Zayn outside then tosses him inside where he gets two with a knee smash. Zayn fights off Miz again and hobbles as he flies out with a tope con hilo. Back inside, Zayn fights out of a figure four attempt then catches Miz with a Michinoku Driver for a nearfall. Small package gets two for Zayn but Miz comes back with a DDT. Zayn pulls himself up slowly in the corner as Miz mocks the Daniel Bryan “yes” chants before hitting a pair of dropkicks. Miz then hits a corner clothesline before heading up top. Zayn avoids Miz and hits him with a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Zayn sets up for the Helluva kick but is too hobbled. Miz takes him down and tries for the Skull Crushing Finale but Zayn turns that into a victory roll for a nearfall. Zayn sends Miz into the corner with an exploder but whiffs on the Helluva Kick as Miz locks on the figure four. Miz pulls Zayn back into the center of the ring as the crowd rallies behind Zayn, who ends up reversing the hold. Miz reverses it back but Zayn is able to reach the ropes. Zayn tries to get up but Miz kicks him then uses the Yes Kicks but Zayn ends up catching Miz and putting him in the figure four. The bell rings as Zayn believes he has one but the ref said he did not tap as Miz rolls up Zayn from behind for the win (14:05) ***1/4. The announcers then tell us that Maryse rung the bell as we see a replay of that.
Thoughts: Really good match. Not the biggest fan of the finish but coming in I felt that Zayn would lose as he works best as an underdog and since Stephanie dressed him down a few weeks ago for not being worthy of the match she can use this to torment Zayn going forward, possibly going back to feuding with Strowman. Zayn’s selling makes for a great underdog due to his selling and Miz has really stepped us his game lately and they delivered. And can the WWE please stop doing recreations of the “Montreal Screwjob.” It was 19 years ago, time to come up with something new.
Backstage, AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose are watching on a monitor. AJ said its nice to see Team Blue get a win then tells Dean to listen to him so they can win tonight. They end up arguing until Shane McMahon interrupts and tells them to get on the same page just for tonight.
Team RAW (Enzo Amore & Big Cass & Shining Stars & Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson & Sheamus & Cesaro & New Day) vs. Team Smackdown Live (Heath Slater & Rhyno & Breezango & Hype Bros & The Usos & American Alpha
Big E & Kofi are representing the New Day in this match. Breezango give Xavier all sorts of fashion police violations but Fandango ends up getting put away with the Midnight Hour. Jey then comes in and eliminates Kofi with a super kick as the arena is shocked. The action is back-and-forth until the Hype Bros work over Epico. Mojo gets trapped in the wrong corner but is able to tag out as Ryder runs wild on Anderson but gets outnumbered as Gallows keeps interfering and ends up being eliminated by the Magic Killer. Gable dropkicks Gallows outside but ends up getting stomped in the corner by Sheamus. The Shining Stars work over Gable but he escapes and American Alpha put him away with a Doomsday Device Bulldog. The match breaks down now as the sides are even. Slater ends up taking everyone out with a stage dive to the floor. Back inside, Gable breaks up a giant swing and suplexes Cesaro after a reverse rollup. Gable then flies out with an assisted somersault plancha but Gallows & Anderson attack Jordan from behind and eliminate American Alpha with the Magic Killer. Slater runs wild for a bit until Anderson catches him with a spinebuster. Team RAW neutralizes Slater then Gallows knocks Enzo off of the apron and they get into it as Slater tags in Rhyno, who gores Gallows for the pin as Gallows & Anderson are eliminated as its tied up but not for long as Enzo & Cass out Rhyno away with the Rocket Launcher. Enzo works over Jey for a bit but runs into a super kick as Jimmy tags and hits a top rope splash for the elimination as its down to the Usos vs. Cesaro & Sheamus. Sheamus lays into Jimmy with forearm smashes but misses a Brogue Kick and gets hit with an enziguiri. The Usos go for stereo super kicks as Cesaro sacrifices himself for his team as Sheamus is able to hit a Brogue Kick for a nearfall. Sheamus then hits Jey with the White Noise from the top but Jimmy comes off of the top for a very close nearfall as Cesaro broke that up. Cesaro is back up on the apron as Sheamus makes the tag. Cesaro runs wild on both Usos and even hits Jimmy with the 619. He almost puts Jimmy away with a crossbody then puts him in the swing as the crowd goes nuts. Jey breaks up a sharpshooter attempt then takes Sheamus out with a tope as Jimmy works a single leg crab. Cesaro reverses and puts Jimmy back into the Sharpshooter then pulls him into the center of the ring. Jey tries to run in for the save but Sheamus cuts him off with a Brogue Kick then Jey taps out as Team RAW wins again (18:55) ****.
Thoughts: All-action and this was incredible when it came down to Cesaro & Sheamus vs. The Usos. Seeing Cesaro & Sheamus finally get on the same page when their teammates could not shows that they might finally start acting as an actual team now instead of two guys forced to pair up. I didn’t mind the New Day bowing out quickly as it allowed other teams a chance to shine. Speaking of other teams, the brief amount of time American Alpha got some shine looked great, especially Gable. They are still continuing the feud between Gallows & Anderson and Enzo & Big Cass it seems too. I would seek this match out, especially the end.
Stephanie is in her office celebrating RAW’s success with Mick Foley. She even thinks Cesaro & Sheamus should get a Tag Team Championship match tomorrow night on RAW but wants to focus on the Cruiserweight Divison, Brock Lesnar beating Goldberg, and Team RAW beating Team Smackdown as Foley thinks it will be a great night for one McMahon and a terrible night for the other.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match: Kalisto vs. Brian Kendrick (c)
Kendrick bails after teasing Kalisto only to get hit with a tope con hilo. Back inside, Kalisto hits a few springboard attacks until Kendrick hits him with a back suplex for two. They work a reversal sequence that ends with Kalisto hitting a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. He sends Kendrick into the corner with a dropkick but Kendrick stays in the ropes and plays possum long enough to send Kalisto into the corner. He wedges Kalisto’s between the steps and post and kicks the steps before the action heads back inside. Kendrick works Kalisto over and gets a nearfall off of a suplex before working the neck as that lasts for a while. Kalisto escapes and comes back with kicks but gets his neck snapped on the top rope. Kalisto takes Kendrick off of the apron with a dropkick as they are now trading kicks on the apron until Kalisto takes Kendrick to the floor with a Spanish Fly in a crazy spot. Kalisto ends up rolling him inside for two then flies back outside with a tope as he starts hammering away until Kendrick drives him into the apron. Kalisto fights back and rolls Kendrick inside but gets cut off on the top rope. Kalisto fights back and tries for the Salida Del Sol but Kendrick rakes his eyes then takes him off and puts him in the Captain’s Hook. Kalisto is desperately trying to reach the ropes and eventually does as Kendrick is in disbelief. Kendrick starts targeting the back now but runs into a boot as Kalisto starts hitting a flurry of kicks. Kalisto runs wild now then hits the Salida Del Sol but Kendrick is able to get his foot on the rope. Kalisto drags Kendrick towards the middle and heads up top but Baron Corbin runs in and attacks Kendrick. Kalisto comes off of the top but Corbin catches him and hits the End of Days before walking back as Kendrick wins the match via DQ (12:25) **3/4.
Thoughts: The match itself was solid but this was all about putting over Baron Corbin instead of the Cruiserweight Division. Speaking of the Cruiserweight Division, it was treated as a prop for the Corbin/Kalisto feud as it goes to show you they really do not care about it on TV and might just be trying to make it exclusive to the “205 Show” sooner rather than later. Kalisto looked better than he has in a long time tonight at least but Kendrick as the focus is really a bad idea.
Daniel Bryan catches up to Corbin backstage and yells at him for costing Smackdown the Cruiserweight Division. Corbin said he does not care as Kalisto is a little pest who will not go away and the last thing Smackdown needs is more little pests running around. Bryan tells him to leave and he will take care of it on Tuesday. Just more playing up Corbin as a bully.
Team Smackdown (AJ Styles & Shane McMahon & Bray Wyatt & Randy Orton & Dean Ambrose vs. Team RAW (Braun Strowman & Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns & Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens)
AJ and Owens start off the match as the crowd cheers. Owens works a side headlock for a bit as we get a dueling chant from the crowd. Owens avoids a dropkick but misses a senton then both guys start brawling. They counter each other’s moves and end in a stalemate as we now get a “stupid idiot”chant. Jericho tags in as the crowd cheers and he gets hugged by his best friend. Styles catches Jericho with a dropkick then yells at Rollins before tagging him in as Styles wants Rollins in the ring. However, Styles tags Ambrose as the two former Shield members are in the ring. They go back-and-forth before ending in a stalemate then Jericho tags himself back in and yells at Ambrose about being owed $15,000. Jericho drops Ambrose with an enziguiri after some back-and-forth then extends his hand but no one accepts a tag. Ambrose fights back and hammers away in the corner. Shane tags in and goes after Jericho, who bails. Back inside, Shane hits a jumping back elbow smash then works a chinlock. Jericho fights out and hits a missile dropkick as Team RAW works over Shane with the crowd booing everything that Reigns does. Shane catches Rollins with a backdrop and tags Ambrose, who runs wild on Owens. He knocks Jericho off of the apron before flying out with a tope on Owens. Back inside, Owens avoids a clothesline but Ambrose counters a powerbomb with a hurricarana. Jericho helps Owens out then Strowman tags himself in as all ten men are now in the ring having a staredown as the crowd chants Ellsworth. The match breaks down as we have a brawl outside. Owens heads up top and takes them all down with a somersault plancha. Shane them climbs up top but Strowman grabs him from the apron and shoves him back. AJ & Ambrose fight off Strowman then Shane take Strowman to the floor. AJ & Ambrose start arguing then Ambrose takes him down. Shane breaks things up but AJ hits Ambrose from behind as that allows Strowman to hit a running powerslam for the elimination. Strowman shoves Shane, who fights back with punches in the corner. Strowman takes Shane down then catches a springboard attempt from AJ and tosses him outside as AJ took one nasty bump. Wyatt steps in front of Strowman and tries to get him to follow his command. Jericho interrupts to say he is the captain now but Strowman shoves him away then beats on Wyatt, even hitting a dropkick. Strowman removes the monitors from the table but Orton hits him with an RKO then helps Wyatt up as they clear off the rest of the table. They lay Strowman down and hold him in place as Shane gets to his feet. Shane heads up top and puts Strowman through the table with an elbow drop. Rollins & Reigns then start hammering away on Orton & Wyatt. AJ checks on Shane and rolls him inside as Strowman gets counted out as we see someone holding his foot from underneath the apron. James Ellsworth is then revealed as being underneath the ring as he runs up the ramp. He falls down as Strowman catches up and tossing him off of the stage and through a table.
Back to the match as Owens is hammering away on Shane, even mocking him in the process. Jericho tags and works a chinlock. Shane gets his knees up on a Lionsault attempt then nearly puts him away with a rollup. Jericho comes back with a Codebreaker then hits one on Orton before making the cover but Shane is able to kick out. Team RAW continues to beat on Shane as the announcers are selling the fact that Shane hurt himself by putting Strowman through a table. Shane tags out after avoiding a splash as AJ runs wild on Jericho. They fight out of each other’s finishers then AJ takes Jericho down. AJ knocks Owens off of the apron, who comes back shortly with the List of Jericho and whacks AJ before hitting a Pop Up Powerbomb and ends up getting disqualified as the list is all over the place. Jericho is angry as he picks up the list and ends up getting eliminated after walking into an RKO courtesy of Orton as its 4 vs. 2 with Team Smackdown having the advantage.
Orton and Rollins start brawling as Orton almost puts Rollins away with a powerslam. Team Smackdown is now working over Rollins, who is able to make the tag after getting hit with a superplex. Reigns gets booed as he runs wild with Samoan Drops. He hits AJ with a Splash Mountain for two and sets up for the Superman Punch but gets caught with a kick in midair. Shane tags in and ends up hitting Reigns with a floatover DDT. Rollins runs in as Shane taes care of him. Shane sends Reigns into the corner then climbs up top and sets up for the coast-to-coast dropkick but gets hit with a spear in midair and eliminated. Medical personnel come in and check on Shane, who looks legitimately injured based off of that replay, as he is carried to the back as its 3 vs. 2. Orton & Wyatt work over Reigns in the corner as the crowd chants how Reigns sucks. Rollins tags in and runs wild then hits AJ with a superplex and rolls through with a Falcon Arrow but Orton breaks up the pin. Orton catches a charging Rollins with a forearm smash and tries a draping DDT to the floor but Reigns breaks it up as the crowd boos. Rollins gets to his feet and slaps Reigns on the shoulder as they clear off the Spanish announce table but AJ takes them down. Ambrose then runs down to attack AJ as the crowd boos as several officials come out to break things up but Ambrose heads outside and hammers away on AJ until security comes out to carry him back but Rollins & Reigns toss the security around to save the former partner as the Shield reunites to put AJ through a table with a powerbomb. They end up rolling AJ back inside as Rollins covers for the pin as the crowd boos.
Luke Harper comes out now as Rollins & Reigns are surrounded. They all brawl as Harper takes Reigns out with a super kick but Rollins flies out with a tope as he is now in control. Rollins takes care of Orton & Wyatt and tries for a frog splash but Orton cuts him off with a RKO in midair for the elimination as its 2 vs. 1. That was a great spot but could not top what they did at WrestleMania 31. Reigns heads back inside and tries to fight off both guys. He hits Wyatt with the Drive By and spears Harper. Back inside, he hits Wyatt with a Superman Punch then sets up for the spear but Orton shoves Bray out of the way and eats the spear. However, Wyatt come up and hits Reigns with the Sister Abigail and gets the win (52:55) ***1/2.
Thoughts: I liked how this was booked for the most part. It was too long but they kept it as interesting as possible. They teased more tension between Owens & Jericho after Owens used the list to attack AJ and nearly ruined it in the process. I also liked how they had Ellsworth get some revenge on Strowman before he ended up getting sent through the table. The booking of Strowman here was really good as he got protected well after looking like a monster. They also continued the AJ/Ambrose feud too as that played a major part in the match. The end with Reigns & Rollins trying to fight off four guys failed with the crowd, who hated Reigns and Rollins has been booked so poorly the fans barely even reacted to him tonight. In fact, when the Shield reunited to send AJ through a table, it actually got booed (EDIT: According to someone in attendance, they were just chanting along with Reigns’ scream before the powerbomb to AJ) as AJ was more over than they were. That goes to show you how badly they handled the Shield breakup and you can even make the argument that it shows how the three guys are not able to cut it as singles main eventers. Orton & Wyatt is interesting now as they won and after the Undertaker’s appearance on Smackdown, I’m a bit shocked they retained tonight.
Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman vs. Goldberg
They start off with an intense stare down. Lesnar drives Goldberg into the corner but ends up getting knocked down. Lesnar looks up shocked at Goldberg then eats a spear. Goldberg then hits another spear as Heyman is on his knees praying. The crowd chants for Goldberg as Lesnar gets up and Goldberg hits him with the Jackhammer for the win (1:26) NR. After the match, Goldberg brings his son into the ring and celebrates with the fans.
Thoughts: A shocking result for sure. I assume it will lead to a rematch because if not, this whole thing was meant to put over a guy who was used to help sell a video game. A guy that turns 50 years old next month, mind you. If you are going to beat Brock like this, then use it to help create a new star. Watching it live, I’m sure it was fun if you were a Goldberg fan but long-term it was a let down and after the finish to this and SummerSlam, good luck getting the crowd to care about the next Lesnar PPV match.
Final Thoughts: Overall, the action was fine. However, there was a lot of questionable booking decisions and RAW is in trouble seeing that their two top babyfaces are either getting booed or minimal reaction at all. I’d say it was fairly decent but nothing I would ever want to watch again.
The RAW vs. Smackdown elimination matches did not have any stakes involved. Plus, all of the storylines were primarily the same in that the teams were fighting themselves. Having a 53 minute match like that after watching two of the same before hand is a crowd killer. These shows need to be paced better.
Another observation I have about tonight is that the WWE’s incessant need for creating “moments” rather than long-term planning or even just telling coherent storylines is hurting the product. Also hurting the product is promoting the past instead of the future. With Goldberg and a finish ripping off something that occurred in 1997, its no wonder the average WWE TV viewer is almost 50 years ago. If you are insistent on living in the past, then you are never going to move forward and right now, this company is doing just that. I do not know of an entertainment company that relies more on the past than the WWE.