October 16, 2017
From the Moda Center at the Rose Quarter in Portland, OR
Your hosts are Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Booker T
Recap from last week that led to the news of Miz & Cesaro & Sheaums & Braun Strowman vs. The Shield in a TLC Match at the TLC PPV.
GM Kurt Angle comes out to start off the show. However, The Shield interrupt as they make their entrance through the crowd. Angle hands the mic over to Reigns, who says it was a good choice. Reigns says you have two choices when you head to the ring as you can get out or get your ass beat. Rollins tells the “Big Dog” to take it easy then mentions that five years ago their first match was at TLC and ever since they dominated until it went away. Rollins is proud to stand here with his “brothers” five years later and that The Shield are stronger than ever. Ambrose says their is no force of nature on this earth more powerful than The Shield then addresses how it might not have been that smart to say they can beat any four or five men so but ends up calling them all out anyway. They all come out as Angle is on the floor saying they have to save it for Sunday. He then gives Cesaro & Sheamus a Tag Team Title match and reminds us of the Strowman vs. Reigns match. Plus, Strowman will be the guest on Miz TV.
The crowd loved The Shield making their entrance through the crowd and ate up everything they said in their promo. A fun way to start off the show.
Elias is in the ring with Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson. He tells the crowd to be quiet but Anderson & Gallows want to know if they can warm up their vocal cords as Gallows makes some strange voices before singing “nerd” over and over again. Elias then plays guitar as Anderson proceeds to sing the Honky Tonk Man’s theme song. Elias then asks them about the song they came up with for Jason Jordan as its called “Jason is a Nerd” but Jordan, Apollo Crews, and Titus O’Neill interrupt. This was the worst Elias segment yet as the crowd was silent. It went for too long and the humor was lame at best.
Elias & Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. Jason Jordan & Apollo Crews & Titus O’Neill
Gallows beats on Titus to start. Titus fights back and hammers away then clotheslines Gallows over the top rope. The match breaks down after that as the faces stand tall then we head to break. The match returns with Elias stomping on Crews. He gets two off of a mule kick in the corner then runs into a kick as both men are down. Anderosn tags in and blocks a tag but Crews floats over on a suplex and tags out as Jordan runs wild. Elias breaks up the pin after a belly-to-belly then the match breaks down until Crews puts Anderson away with a spinning sit-out powerbomb (6:53) *1/2.
Thoughts: Half of the match took place during the commercial break. What we saw was fine but the crowd did not care as the Jordan push remains a failure and other than Elias no one else is over at the moment.
We get a hype video for Asuka’s debut at TLC. After that, Renee Young interviews her opponent, Emma, who is upset over people not treating her like a superstar. She talks about Asuka having not done a thing here in WWE but Alexa Bliss interrupts. Alexa talks up Emma then mentions that Mickie James “Body Shammed” here last week and proposes they team up to face Mickie and a partner. Emma agrees and they both leave together. This was fine I suppose as we now await as to who Mickie chooses for a partner.
A video package on the feud between Cedric Alexander and The Brian Kendrick & Jack Gallagher.
Cedric Alexander w/ Rich Swann vs. Jack Gallagher w/ The Brian Kendrick
Swann comes out to even the odds for Cedric as Cole mentions that these four will face off in a tag match at TLC. Cedric beats on Gallagher then sends him outside with a dropkick. He sets up for a dive but Kendrick jumps up onto the apron. Swann pulls him off but Gallagher comes in and attacks Cedric from behind. He beats on Cedric then uses a chinlock. Cedric escapes but Gallagher kicks him down. Gallagher mocks the crowd then cranks the neck as the crowd rallies behind Cedric, who catches a kick and comes back with a handspring enziguiri. Kendrick grabs Cedric’s leg but Swann breaks that up with a DDT on the floor then Cedric hits Gallagher with the Lumbar Check for the win (3:22) **.
Thoughts: Good action while it lasted. The crowd even got behind Cedric near the end as this tag match at the PPV could end up being really fun if given time. I like how they are giving the cruiserweights another feud on RAW besides the title feud.
Miz TV with guest Braun Strowman. Cesaro, Sheamus, and Curtis Axel are also out here. Miz talks about how Cesaro & Sheamus will win back the Tag Team Titles tonight as they both hype up tonight’s match as the crowd gets on Sheamus for his look as Sheamus tells them to “respect the ‘hawk.” Cesaro speaks with his mouth guard in and sounds muffled. Strowman comes out and talks about The Shield putting him through the announcers table with a triple powerbomb because they could never stop him on their own so he will tear them apart piece by piece until they are gone forever. Strowman said he will make sure the cage door is shut tonight so Reigns is able to run away. Miz then asks the crowd if they think The Shield can take them on and a “yes” chant breaks out. Miz has some fun with that and mention Ambrose still telling them they can face any four or five guys and is about to add a fifth guy to the team but Angle comes out to oppose. Miz tells Angle having his heroes 5 vs. 3 and try to overcome the odds but Angle tells him to shut up as he is the GM. Angle proposes they can have a 5 vs. 3 match but only if Strowman wins his match tonight. However, if Strowman loses, he will not be part of the TLC match as it will go back to 3 vs. 3. Angle is about to leave then stops to say that everyone will be banned from ringside. They are now teasing that this match could be 5 vs. 3 and will be decided as part of tonight’s cage match in a move designed to keep viewers heading into the final hour.
Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox
Fox is in an insert promo blaming the ref for her getting eliminated last week as she is still waiting for her t-shirt after ten years in the company. They jaw at each other then Sasha takes Fox down and puts on the Banks Statement. Fox is able to reach the ropes with her foot then rolls outside. Fox catches Sasha with a stunner from the apron then heads back inside. She hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two then applies a chinlock. Sasha escapes and hits a crossbody for two but ends up running into a back elbow smash. Fox goes back to the chinlock then tries another tilt-a-whirl backbreaker but Sasha flips out and puts Fox in the Banks Statement for the win (2:44) *. After the match, Fox starts screaming and flipping out.
Thoughts: Another win for Banks as Fox is back to doing her crazy person character by flipping out after losing a match.
After the break, Sasha walks into Charly Caruso. She is asked about her win but Fox attacks her from behind. Sasha tries to fight back but Fox regains control then starts yelling while beating on Sasha. A ref tries to stop her but gets shoved down then a few other refs escort Fox away. Looks like we are getting more of Fox and Sasha at the TLC Kickoff show.
Enzo Amore comes out to the ring. He addresses some of the boos then rolls some footage of him losing the Cruiserweight Title last week against Kalisto. They focused on Mustafa Ali costing Enzo a pin as Enzo tells us it was a conspiracy to take away the title by a corrupt GM. He then calls out Ali for screwing him over but Kalisto comes out to interrupt. Kalisto tells Enzo enough is enough and compares his mouth to a 7/11 because it never closes. He tells Enzo he can blame everyone and anything for why he lost and will lose again at TLC. Enzo tells Kalisto he has a stack of money taller than him and that the ‘Zo train is coming true as Noam Dar, Ariya Daivari, Tony Nese, and Drew Gulak attack Kalisto from behind. Enzo then asks the crowd why they are not chanting like when he got jumped and compares Kalisto to a Rey Mysterio knock off but Mustafa Ali runs out. He cleans house for a bit but Enzo blindsides him and he guest beaten down. Enzo and his new friends continue to beat on Ali and Kalisto then Enzo asks them “how they doin'” before leaving. After losing the title and a tag match last week on 205 Live they needed to give Enzo some of his heat back heading into TLC. He also now has Nese and Dar with him too as last week Gulak told Enzo he was inspired by him. Ali showed good fire and resilience in fighting for the others as this could also be the beginnings of a 5 vs. 5 Cruiserweights match at Survivor Series
RAW Tag Team Championship Match: Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins (c) vs. Cesaro & Sheamus
Rollins & Ambrose clean house to start. They hit stereo pescadoes then Rollins heads inside and collides with Sheamus then Cesaro clotheslines Rollins from the apron as we head to break. The action returns with Sheamus working a chinlock. He then hits Rollins with the Irish Curse for a two count then tags out as Cesaro takes control. He prevents Rollins from making a tag then kicks Ambrose off of the apron. Cesaro taunts the crowd and walks into a backdrop as Rollins goes to his corner but Ambrose is out on the floor. Sheamus tags in and Cesaro uppercuts Rollins as that almost gets the win. Rollins fights back then avoids a corner charge as both men are down. Rollins is able to backdrop Cesaro to the floor then finally tags out as Ambrose runs wild. They have a reversal sequence that ends with Cesaro getting sent outside. Rollins and Ambrose fly out with topes then the action heads back in where Cesaro catches Ambrose with a boot then they hit a assisted clothesline spot that went a bit awry as Rollins makes the save on the pin. Rollins breaks up a double crucifix bomb attempt and lands some super kicks then Ambrose puts Cesaro away with the Dirty Deeds (12:03) ***1/4.
Thoughts: The fans were really into this match and it was good despite the fact it hit a rough patch in the final minute. I don’t know if they continue to feud after TLC but they’ve had some impressive matches during this feud.
After commercial, Curtis Axel is giving Cesaro & Sheamus a pep talk in the locker room. He tells them if Strowman beats Reigns at TLC, he will be the fifth partner and he gets the chance to wrestle in front of his home crowd. Strowman walks in as Axel tells him his “moment” hinges on his cage match against Reigns and that he needs this more than anything. Axel even says he will find Reigns himself and fight him now so Strowman calls his bluff. Axel says he is in a suit and cannot fight now as Cesaro says he seems scared. Axel calms himself down then goes off to find Reigns.
Recap of last week’s segment between Finn Balor and Bray Wyatt, who morphed into Sister Abigail.
Balor now heads out to the ring. He thought Bray first lost his mind but now realizes these are not just stories about Sister Abigail but that it is real. The camera then zooms in on Balor’s face as he tells us his Demon does not have fears as his face morphs into the demon but with Halloween themed face paint as he wants to meet Sister Abigail then finishes this off by saying “run.” The only compliment I can give this is that is was brief because everything else was horrendous. The face paint resembled something straight out of a kid’s face painting booth and the whole premise of the Bray/Balor is ridiculous and makes for awful TV.
Another vignette hyping the debut of Asuka
Emma & Alexa Bliss vs. Mickie James & Bayley
Mickie and Alexa start off as Mickie does not fall for her tricks. Emma tags as Mickie takes her down and gets two with a cradle. Mickie & Bayley use a few double-team moves until Emma grabs Bayley’s ponytail. Alexa tags in but Bayley fights back and gets two with a neckbreaker after Emma yanked Alexa out to safety. Both teams face off on the floor and have a shoving match right before commercial. The match returns with Emma having Bayley in a chinlock. Bayley fights back and gets two with a knee drop but Emma clotheslines her neck against the top rope. Emma dumps Bayley then grabs her ponytail and roughs her up for a bit. Back inside, Alexa tags and embarrasses Bayley while attacking her then grabs a chinlock. Bayley escapes from the corner then fights off Alexa and tags out as Mickie runs wild. The match breaks down then as Alexa yells at Bayley but walks into a roundhouse kick by Mickie and gets pinned (11:21) **.
Thoughts: The match was fine but it did last a bit too long. Mickie pinning Alexa was a surprise but it did help give her some momentum heading into her title match at TLC.
Axel is shown walking through the hall. He sees The Shield then approaches them but the camera cuts to commercial.
After the break, Miz walks in to the locker room and talks about Strowman beating Reigns will lead to a 5 vs. 3 match at TLC. Cesaro & Sheamus are laughing as they let Miz know that Axel is trying to beat up The Shield by himself. Miz is shocked then leaves to try and find Axel.
Charly congratulates Bayley & Mickie then wants a word with Mickie as Bayley hugs her partner before leaving. Mickie is asked about her title match at TLC and Alexa’s words about being old. Mickie said she is proud of who she is and while those words hurt, she is a different woman now and has a three year old son at home.
Miz is screaming backstage looking for Axel then sees him hanging by his feet all beat up with his shirt torn off.
Tomorrow night on 205 Live will be Kalisto & Ali vs. Enzo & Daivari and Swann vs. Gallagher.
The trainer is tending to Axel then Renee Young enters asking what will he do for a potential fifth partner. Miz says he thinks the world of Axel but was never their fifth man then walks away.
Cage Match: Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns
The stipulation is that everyone is banned from ringside. However, Miz joins on commentary and said since he is not at ringside, he can be here as people need to hear his voice. Reigns tries to climb the cage after an early advantage but gets pulled down as Miz calls him out for being scared. Strowman blocks a Samoan Drop attempt but Reigns hammers away in the corner. Strowman catches Reigns with a spinebuster for a nearfall just before break then we return with Strowman tossing Reigns into the cage. Miz will not disclose the fifth member of his team and instructs Cole to call the match in the ring. Strowman pulls Reigns down then sandwiches him between the ropes and cage. Reigns sidesteps a second charge then lands several kicks to the face. Reigns hits a thrust kick then an uppercut before hitting a Samoan Drop for a two count. Reigns climbs up the cage and gets halfway over but Cesaro & Sheamus run out and climb from the outside. Ambrose & Rolllins run out for the save and they all brawl outside as Booker wants to know where Angle is amid this chaos. Strowman then drags Reigns back over the cage and into a superplex as both men are down. The other brawl up the ramp and on the stage as Miz is encouraging his teammates before running off. We are shown the brawl backstage as Miz is shown closing the door when they end up in the parking lot. Back in the ring, both men finally get up and climb the cage. Strowman headbutts Reigns off of the top rope then climbs up further but is yanked off. Reigns hits the Superman Punch then does it again before setting up for the spear. Strowman catches Reigns, who hits a Superman Punch in midair and almost gets the win. Reigns sets up for another spear but the lights go red and we hear Kane’s music. Reigns spears Strowman but Kane comes in through the ring as Reigns is in disbelief then charges but is caught with a chokeslam. Kane then hits another chokeslam as Cole screams “why is Kane here?” Strowman now picks up Reigns and hits a running powerslam then Kane hits a tombstone so Strowman lowers his straps and picks up Reigns for another powerslam and gets the win (17:18) **1/2. After the match, Miz introduces Kane as the 5th man on his team.
Thoughts: There was certainly a lot going on here. First off, Angle explicitly said that everyone was banned from ringside and there was brawling that took place at ringside and all around the building but Angle not once came out to put a stop to the craziness, which makes you wonder why even announce it in the first place? Kane returning is not the most exciting thing and we will never know why he has because this is the final RAW before TLC. You can speculate all you want and say its because Reigns retired his “brother” in the Undertaker but you could have done this same exact angle last week then have him come out this week to explain his actions. What took place in the ring was fine and we had a very scary superplex spot the focus was more on the brawling and The Miz on commentary. Having The Shield overcome a two man disadvantage does make for an interesting dynamic at least even if the decision to add a fifth member to the Miz’s team felt like an idea thought up of right before the show.
Final Thoughts: Most of the focus was on the TLC main event as this PPV is really a one-match show. The other matches do not feel special and the Bray/Balor feud has produced some of RAW’s worst segments in 2017. I will say that The Shield’s return is getting over with the fans so that is a big positive. Tonight’s show was skippable for the most part but you can check out the Tag Title match and clips of Kane making his return. Next week will start the road to the Survivor Series as we can see what the company has in store for that show.