Bayless’ WWE RAW Rundown 10/31/16


October 31, 2016
From the XL Center in Hartford, CT
Your hosts are Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, and Michael Cole

The show starts with Goldberg walking backstage on his way to the ring. The crowd chants for Goldberg and he basks in that for a bit then begins to speak but Paul Heyman interrupts. Heyman said he is here to deliver a message from Brock Lesnar and that is Lesnar cannot wait until Survivor Series and wants to face him now. They play Lesnar’s music as Heyman is shown laughing then talks about how he fooled and disappointed everyone, just like Goldberg’s son who was shown laughing and smiling in the front row. Goldberg then corners Heyman but Rusev walks out. Rusev does not think Goldberg has it in him anymore and talks about his two moves, the jackhammer and the spear. Rusev then made fun of Goldberg for thinking he is a superhero as he says they do not exist. Rusev then punches Goldberg, who slowly turns around and throws some knee smashes, while nearly falling down in the process, then hits him with the jackhammer before taking Heyman out with a spear.

I didn’t care for this segment. It felt like a five minute segment stretched out to fill 15 minutes. Goldberg looked really sloppy here when getting physical and hopefully he works out some ring rust before Survivor Series. You knew the instant Rusev came out he was getting beaten down but out of all the people to use in that spot, why waste him in the role? Really, they could have had Goldberg just get pissed at Heyman for teasing Lesnar coming out and finish it after that. 

Trick or Street Fight: Luke Gallows w/ Karl Anderson vs. Enzo Amore w/ Big Cass

Enzo & Cass are dressed as Buzz Lightyear & Woody from “Toy Story.” Before the match they made fun of their opponents using Halloween-related puns. It was fine. Gallows beats on Enzo then jaws at Cass, allowing Enzo to hit a baseball slide. Enzo then uses a toy skeleton to beat Gallows and sticks his head in a bucket of apples as we head to break. We return as Gallows misses a running boot but is able to deck Enzo, who was coming at him with a bucket of candy. Gallows rubs the pumpkin guts in Enzo’s face as Graves cracks a joke about it not being worse than the water in New Jersey. They head back inside as Gallows hits a short-armed clothesline then lays a plastic fence across Enzo’s chest and hits him with a kendo stick. Gallows continues to beat Enzo with the stick until Enzo starts throwing mini pumpkins at him. Enzo comes back with a low dropkick then grabs a pie. Anderson is on the apron as Enzo tosses it in his face then Cass boots Anderson off of the apron and through the table. Cass then sticks a pumpkin on Gallows head as Enzo hits the G-DT for the win (8:01) *.

Thoughts: This was goofy and harmless for the most part(like you would expect from a WWE Holiday themed match) but my god did the finish look awful. I know the feud is based on Gallows & Anderson being sick of the joking around in the Tag Team Division but after getting a win last night after months of losing and bad comedy, it would have been nice to see them maintain whatever momentum they had left.

We see an ambulance take off as Cole lets us know Heyman is inside and will be taken to a local hospital.

Before the match, Kendrick gloats about faking out Perkins last night and can pray on sympathetic, weak-minded people like him. He then tells Perkins how he better think up a plan to get the title back because he has a plan to keep it. The crowd was not into this at all. Kendrick did okay with his delivery but the verbiage he was given really sucked.

Cruiserweight Championship Match: TJ Perkins vs. Brian Kendrick (c)

Perkins nearly puts Kendrick away then we head to break. We return as Perkins hits a dropkick as both men are down. Perkins comes back with a wheelbarrow bulldog then a springboard missile dropkick. He puts on the kneebar but Kendrick quickly grabs the ropes. Perkins heads up top but Kendrick cuts him off. However, Perkins is able to toss him off then takes him over the top rope with a hurricarana as both men are down. Perkins slides in to beat the ten count as Kendrick teases going back in but doesnt and gets counted out for the loss but retains the title (6:25) **1/4. After the match, Perkins attacks Kendrick and puts on the knee bar until officials break it up.

Thoughts: I liked the finish here as Kendrick was willing to do anything to remain champion as Perkins actually did not look like a moron in this angle for once and attacked Kendrick after the match. But sadly, its not enough to save this angle which seems to be continuing based off of the pre-match promo.

Backstage, Foley is with a production staffer when Braun Strowman interrupts. Strowman wants to be put on the RAW Survivor Series team or else he will destroy half of the roster. Foley says the threats are starting to scare him but caving in to that would look bad so tonight, there will be a battle royal where the winner gets a spot on the RAW Survivor Series team.

Foley is in the ring to announce the RAW Survivor Series teams. Owens & Jericho come out to take offense to Foley saying the Universal Title match left a bad taste in his mouth. Owens asks if its the fact he beat the #1 draft pick or outsmarted Rollins as to why he is mad then says its because he stole the show. He says last night was the Kevin Owens show whether he likes it or not as Jericho chimes in to prove how they proved last night what a real team can do and why they are needed to anchor the Survivor Series. Owens tells Foley they are needed due to being the top two guys on RAW and that fact makes Foley jealous. Owens also says how he won his first Hell in a Cell match while Foley made history for losing four Hell in a Cell matches. Owens & Jericho then put down the city of Hartford as Foley is pissed that they cheat and clown around. Foley says he has to swallow his pride in the GM but Stephanie wanted just Owens on the team, not Jericho, but he convinced Stephanie after what he did at Hell in a Cell. After Foley finishes screaming, he introduces Roman Reigns as the third member of the team. Reigns gets booed as Foley chimes in how his wife loves him. Reigns then calls Owens & Jericho “Spongebob Squarepants and his best friend Patrick” then was going to go as a “stupid idiot” but they ran out of Jericho costumes. Jericho teases putting Reigns on the list but says there is no one in the building worthy enough to belong. Jericho also puts down Reigns as being a poor United States Champion and even dislikes the entire country. He then says he can take away the title tonight but is probably too beat up from facing Rusev last night. Reigns says he is beat up but will still fight as Foley makes the match official for later on in the show.

Decent segment. Owens & Jericho were very good but Foley’s screaming was just grating to me and if you want to get the fans to start cheering Roman, they need to give him better material than Spongebob jokes. Its those type of lines that made the fans turn on him two years ago. 

Video package on the Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks match last night at Hell in a Cell. We get some black-and-white footage and a lot of still photos from the match itself. Charlotte will be here later tonight.

Battle Royal: Golden Truth, Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel, Jinder Mahal, Neville, Cesaro, Sheamus, Darren Young, Titus O’Neill, Sami Zayn, Braun Strowman

Everyone stares at Strowman. The match starts as Strowman shoves Zayn and Goldust down with R-Truth on his back then dumps him for the elimination. Strowman then tosses Dallas but the others land in some shots and Sheamus knocks him through the middle rope, which does not count as an elimination, right before the break. We return as Cesaro & Sheamus work together to eliminate Mahal and Young. Axel comes at Strowman with windmill punches but ends up getting tossed anyway. Titus ends up on the apron as Zayn takes him of with the Helluva Kick. Goldust gets tossed then Sheamus tries to eliminate Cesaro but that fails as Cesaro gets the elimination. However, Strowman then tosses Cesaro after that as the two partners argue on the floor. Neville runs at Strowman and does a twisting sell off of a shoulderblock as he gets tossed as Zayn is all that is left for Strowman. Zayn gets beat down but is able to pull Strowman down from the apron. The crowd is getting behind Zayn as he almost as Strowman out but Strowman is able to pull himself up and toss Zayn to the floor for the win and the spot on the RAW team (7:05) **1/4.

Thoughts: I really liked the booking here. They showed Cesaro & Sheamus are still struggling to work as a team while they teased an upset with Zayn almost eliminating Strowman but falling just short. Plus, Strowman eliminated just about everyone in the match and looked really strong here. The company is handling Strowman’s push quite well right now. Better than most battle royal matches.

New Day are backstage. Kofi is dressed as the Godfather, Big E as Kama from the Nation of Domination, and Xavier as Papa Shango. They have a moment of silence for Francesca II before talking about their opponents on the Smackdown Survivor Series team. It was brief but fine and the costumes of all the Charles Wright gimmicks were a nice touch.

Rich Swann & Lince Dorado & Cedric Alexander vs. Tony Nese & Drew Gulak & Ariya Daivari

Dorado starts off the match by getting the best of Daivari. Alexander tags but gets backed into the corner as Gulak beats him down. Cedric comes back with a headscissors and a dropkick but Daivari grabs him from the apron then Nese tags and takes him down. The heels are cutting the ring off as they mix in a few chinlocks but Cedric is able to escape and makes the tag. Swann cleans house then the match breaks down after a pin attempt was broken up. Cedric & Dorado fly outside as Nese tries to roll up Swann with a handful of tights but that fails. Swann then drills Nese with a roundhouse kick and uses a jackknife cover for the win (5:30) **1/4.

Thoughts: The match was okay but really slow at times and they did nothing to set them apart from the rest of the roster. All of these multi-man matches without any purpose are not going to make fans care about the division. Also, its clear after watching this that Cedric and Swann are by far and away the two most popular guys in the division.

Recap of the opening segment.

Charlotte heads out to the ring as she is carried out on her throne. Cole puts over her PPV undefeated streak as Charlotte talks about making history last night by walking out as the three-time Women’s Champion. She then tells Sasha about she was pushed to her limits then yells “peasants, all hail your queen” to the crowd as they booed. Charlotte tells all of the women in the WWE to learn to accept they will never get better than second place. Charlotte switches her focus to Survivor Series and how she will lead the RAW team to victory. Charlotte promises to put Nikki Bella “on the shelf” forever if she gets in her way because she already put her out with injury for an entire year. Charlotte then runs down the rest of the card as she brings up the weak link on her team in Bayley. Charlotte tells Bayley to come out and she eventually does. Bayley says she is glad about getting called out as the crowd cheers. Bayley puts over the Hell in a Cell RAW Women’s Title match gave her goosebumps and when they were all together in NXT stuff like that was all a dream and puts Charlotte over for making it a reality. Charlotte says she would say thank you but while Bayley is dreaming, she is achieving. Bayley then talks about success going straight to Charlotte’s head and how she is the biggest jerk and would never want to be a champion like her. Charlotte says Bayley will never beat her and for Bayley to come to the reality that this is no longer NXT. Charlotte then says the team is only as strong as its weakest link. Bayley laughs about beating Charlotte’s protege in Dana Brooke last night as Charlotte gets the last laugh and says her opponent is not Dana as Nia Jax comes out.

I like Charlotte in her current role but this went on too long for its own good. Also, I love Bayley’s character but she is exposed when having to talk as much as she did here. I thought her mic work as really subpar in this segment. Looks like we are getting Bayley vs. Charlotte as a feud now although this “weak link” stuff did not really register with me as its just too contrived. 

Bayley vs. Nia Jax

Charlotte is on commentary as Cole asks why does she have bad blood with Bayley. Charlotte says she is trying to smarten her up to the fact this is the big leagues and that Bayley is naive. Bayley works the arm for a bit until Jax catches her with a shoulderbreaker. Jax then tosses Bayley across the ring as Charlotte puts over Jax’s size and strength. Jax continues to overpower Bayley and works a bearhug as the camera pans to the announcers with Dana standing behind Charlotte. Bayley gets out and puts on a guillotine then floats over on a vertical suplex attempt. Bayley hits a pair of dropkicks then a bulldog to take Jax down. Bayley sets up for her corner charge but Jax runs her over. Jax then drags Bayley into the corner and heads up top but Bayley is up and tries the Belly-to-Bayley. Jax headbutts Bayley down then roughs her up for a bit before getting the win with a Samoan Drop (5:51) **1/2.

Thoughts: Solid TV match. Bayley did a great job in the ring and Jax plays her role really well and will improve over time. The end with Jax scrambling to make sure she was facing the hard camera for the win was far too noticeable.

Sheamus & Cesaro vs. The Shining Stars

Primo gets a headscissors but Sheamus catches him with a rolling senton. Cesaro tags and hits a few uppercuts then signals for the swing but Primo is able to reach the ropes. Epico tries to distract Cesaro and gets knocked off of the apron but Primo dropkicks Cesaro as the Shining Stars take control and cut off the ring. They hit Cesaro with a sandwich basement dropkick but Primo misses a corner splash and Cesaro makes the tag as Sheamus runs wild. He puts Epico in the cloverleaf then Cesaro uppercuts Primo as he was in midair and Epico ends up tapping out (4:06) **.

Thoughts: Crowd was dead for this one as their was no miscommunication issues between Sheamus & Cesaro here. The match was fine though.

Golden Truth are at the Factory of Terror haunted house. R-Truth is really scared but by the end they both run out screaming. It was a harmless segment.

Clip of Foley making Roman Reigns vs. Chris Jericho tonight. We then see Jericho backstage listing off his accomplishments as he says the United States Championship is the only title he has never held. Jericho says he will beat Reigns as they both make fun of Reigns while Owens says they will take the title back to Canada and make it better. Jericho then asks Owens for a favor and he obliges after what Jericho did for him last night. They then walk off together

United States Championship Match: Chris Jericho w/ Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns (c)

Jericho tosses his scarf at Reigns then starts firing away. Reigns fights back and takes Jericho down with a hip toss. Jericho cheap shots Reigns then takes him down with a clothesline. Jericho hits a dropkick then poses on the top rope but took too long as Reigns cuts him off. Jericho is able to hit a crossbody but runs into an uppercut before getting clotheslined to the floor. Reigns follows out and roughs up Jericho but Owens sneaks up and sends Reigns into the post as we head to break. The match returns as Owens yells at the fans while Jericho drops Reigns on top of the barricade. Back inside, Jericho gets two off of a back suplex before applying a chinlock. Reigns fights out then blocks a bulldog by launching Jericho into the corner as both men are down. Reigns is up first and hits a bunch of clotheslines before taking Jericho down with a big boot for a two count. Reigns hits the Drive By then gets two with a Samoan drop. Roman gets some chants as he sets up for the Superman punch but Jericho dodges that. Reigns gets his knees up on a Lionsault attempt after Jericho failed to apply the Walls of Jericho. They work a messy sequence as Jericho puts on the Walls of Jericho. Reigns escapes then hits a sitout powerbomb for a two count. Owens is up on the apron as Reigns decks him, allowing Jericho to roll him up for a nearfall. Reigns rolls outside then is up on the apron as he hits Jericho with the Superman punch and a spear but Owens breaks up the pin for the DQ (15:55) ***. Owens & Jericho assault Reigns as the crowd chants “we want Rollins.” Owens alley-oops Reigns into a codebreaker then Rollins comes out and hits Owens. He takes Jericho down with a sling blade then flies out to hit Owens with a tope. He hits another tope then tries to Pedigree Jericho but Owens pulls his best friend to safety. Owens & Jericho head up the ramp as Rollins stares at Reigns with the crowd starting up a chant for the Shield. Reigns then looks over at Rollins and does not appear to trust him as the show goes off the air.

Thoughts: Good match. The post-match angle with Rollins making the save and teasing a re-alliance with Reigns could help both guys out as they are cold at the moment. At the very least, the crowd wants it to happen and I am intrigued to see what they go with this as Reigns has to be able to trust Rollins again and did not appear to do so here.

Final Thoughts: Overall, I though the show was okay. The end was pretty good and I’ve really liked how they’ve built up Strowman since the draft. However, the opening segment was not as the buzz after Goldberg’s first appearance is starting to slowly fade after two poor segments. Plus, the Cruiserweight Division continues to struggle with a bad title feud and the rest of the division thrown together in multi-man matches.

After a bad RAW last week and an underwhelming PPV last night, they are at least getting back on track for Survivor Series. Plus, the potential of Rollins and Reigns reuniting can carry them through the rest of the year.