October 23, 2017
From the Resch Center in Green Bay, WI
Your hosts are Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Booker T
Clips from last night’s TLC match at the TLC PPV are shown.
GM Kurt Angle comes out to the ring as we kick off the show. The announcers put over his performance in the TLC match last night then the crowd gives him a “you still got it” chant. Angle said he wrote a new chapter in his story last night and talks about how it was like a dream come true wrestling again in a WWE ring for the first time in eleven years. However, he now has to focus on the Survivor Series PPV and how it will be RAW vs. Smackdown, where champions from both brands will face off. We then find out some matches like Alexa Bliss vs. Natalya, Miz vs. Baron Corbin, Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose vs. The Usos, and Jinder “Mayhal” vs. Brock Lesnar, who will be here later on tonight with Paul Heyman. He also talks about the two 5 vs. 5 elimination matches that will take place, one for the men and another for the women and how he will make sure his show will be the most dominant in the WWE. However, Miz comes out with Curtis Axel & The Bar. Miz is sick of Angle’s voice and says RAW is his show and thinks it is ridiculous how Angle believes he saved the show by taking the place of Roman Reigns. Miz says it should have been 5 vs. 2 last night but Angle had to jump back into the spotlight. Miz tells Angle he does not deserve to be in the WWE ring and should resign immediately then has his men circle the ring so Angle cannot leave. We now hear The Shield’s music as Rollins & Ambrose head into the ring from the crowd. Miz says that The Shield has sold out because they suck up to management and that the odds are not in their favor. However, Angle says Miz should not be sure of that as he will team up with The Bar to face Ambrose, Rollins, and AJ Styles as he is staying on RAW for one more night. Miz is pissed as this match will take place after the break.
Solid way to kick off the show as they laid out the foundation of the Survivor Series and let AJ Styles team with two members of The Shield as he is part of RAW just for tonight.
Shane McMahon will return to Smackdown Live tomorrow night.
Miz w/ Curtis Axel & The Bar vs. Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose & AJ Styles
Sheamus and Rollins start off the match. Rollins gets overpowered early but fights back and tags Ambrose as the two hit some double-team moves. Ambrose hammers away in the corner but eats boot on a charge then Cesaro tags in and gets two with a leg drop. Cesaro does some taunting after a scoop slam but Ambrose fights back. Rollins tags in and works a hammerlock on the mat. The crowd chants for AJ then he tags in and chops away. He gets a few nearfalls but is distracted by Miz while on the apron as Cesaro clotheslines him on the top rope. Miz tags in now but AJ stuns him with a jawbreaker. The Bar run in to knock Ambrose & Rollins off of the apron then help Miz triple-team AJ. Rollins & Ambrose fight back then, along with AJ, hit stereo pescadoes as we head to break. The match returns with Cesaro putting Ambrose in a chinlock. Ambrose fights out but Cesaro prevents the tag. The Bar cut off the ring until Ambrose counters a suplex from Cesaro and hits one of his own. Sheamus comes off of the top but Ambrose gets out of the way then eventually hits a rebound clothesline as both men are down. Ambrose makes the tag as Rollins runs wild on Miz. He gets a nearfall with a Falcon Arrow as Sheamus makes the save then the match breaks down. Miz almost puts Rollins away with a DDT as we head to another break. This returns with Ambrose and Sheamus brawling in the crowd. Cesaro rolls Miz in front of him and makes the tag but Rollins escapes and tags out as AJ runs wild. Miz provides a distraction then Cesaro hits a pop-up uppercut that gets two but the match breaks down again until AJ nails Cesaro with the Phenomenal Forearm for the win (19:47) ***1/2. After the match, Kane heads out to the ring. AJ sells this like he is about to crap himself despite the fact it’s 3 vs. 1. One by one, Kane knocks them down then Miz & The Bar run in from behind and they stand tall at the end.
Thoughts: A long but fun match. It looks like they will extend the feud between The Shield and Miz & The Bar until Reigns is medically cleared to return. AJ was over more than anyone else in this match and probably the entire show for that matter.
We return from commercial with Kane still in the ring but cut to more still photos of last night’s TLC match with the focus on Braun Strowman being stuffed in a garbage truck after his altercation with Kane. Back in the ring, Kane talks about Strowman wanting competition and all of his destruction he caused while against Big Show and Reigns. Kane said he saw a pile of trash in Strowman last night and that he is RAW’s only monster and demands competition, or else. After a few seconds, Finn Balor comes out for a match. Its obvious after last night they were going with a Kane vs. Strowman feud. However, Kane’s promo ran on for too long and really ended up being a stinker. Plus, he pales in comparison to Strowman’s past feuds with Reigns, Lesnar, and even Big Show.
Kane vs. Finn Balor
Balor kicks Kane in the legs but gets run over as Cole lets us know that Strowman can be out of action for “several weeks or months.” Kane destroys Balor in the corner for a bit but Balor fights back. Kane boots Balor down then slams him for a two count. Balor escapes from a chinlock and lands a soccer kick from the apron but Kane catches him with a slam on the apron. Balor is rolled inside where Kane hits a pair of corner clotheslines and a side slam that gets two. Balor is whipped hard into the corner as Kane continues to hammer away. Kane hits a backbreaker then stretches Balor over his knee. He rolls Balor outside then follows out but is sent into the steps with a drop toe hold. Balor beats on Kane back inside of the ring and takes him down with a sling blade. Balor sends Kane into the corner with a shotgun dropkick then goes up for the Coup de Grace but Kane stands up and takes Balor off to hit a chokeslam. Kane then picks Balor up again for another chokeslam and then hits a third chokeslam for the win (7:07) 1/2*.
Thoughts: Whose bright idea was this? After electrifying the crowd last night with a win over AJ Styles, they had Balor lose to Kane and in a manner that made him look like a scrub and halted whatever momentum he had from last night. If you wanted to put over Kane strongly they could have done something else and if the line of thinking was that you can have Balor lose until Bray Wyatt is healthy enough to resume their barnburner of a feud, why even have him win last night?
Angle is on the phone in his office as Shane McMahon enters. They both compliment each other as Angle thans Shane for loaning him the services of AJ Styles. Angle puts over the talent on his roster and how it has more starpower than Smackdown. Shane says last year, Smackdown beat RAW then the two engage in some playful trash-talk over which brand will be victorious at Survivor Series.
Asuka vs. Emma
This is a rematch from last night’s PPV, where Asuka was victorious. They start out aggressive then Emma reaches the ropes after Asuka put her in a cross armbreaker. Asuka takes Emma off of the apron with a hip attack but Emma is able to shove her into the post after that then heads inside and hammers away. Emma gets a two count with a butterfly suplex then the crowd starts chanting for Asuka. Emma hits a lariat after a struggle then attacks Asuka in the corner. Asuka comes back with a missile dropkick as both women are down. Asuka is up first and starts to run wild then puts Emma away with the Asuka Lock (5:15) **. After the match, Cole says the RAW Women’s locker room has been put on notice.
Thoughts: The action was fine but its clear after the PPV and tonight that the main roster has no clue how to present Asuka as someone special.
Alexa Bliss heads out to the ring. She talks about defeating Mickie James last night at TLC and can finally put her back where she belongs, which is in the past. Alexa then talks about her match at Survivor Series against Natalya and will remind everyone there is only one goddess. Alexa calls out the fans for not appreciating her and how Balor/AJ can just stare at each other and get a “this is awesome” chant as she says the fans hand out chants like Halloween candy as she wants a chant. Alexa wonders if she does not get chants because she isn’t old or as a kid at home before saying everyone is jealous. Alexa then puts down the Midwest for being dumb and tries to get them to repeat her chants. She demands a “you deserve it” chant but the crowd boos then Mickie comes out to the ring. Mickie boots Alexa then hits a tornado DDT before picking up the mic and telling Alexa she does deserve it before leaving. Good heel promo by Alexa, who pissed off the crowd, and it was nice to see her get some comeuppance courtesy of Mickie. It appears that this feud will continue.
Back in his office, Angle speaks to Bayley and Sasha Banks. They are both happy over Kurt’s performance last night then talks about needing a captain of RAW Women’s team at Survivor Series. However, an angry Alicia Fox interrupts to say she has been here the longest and should be the captain so Angle books them all in a triple-threat match, with the winner getting to be captain. After Bayley and Sasha walk away, Angle reminds Fox about pinfalls only counting inside of the ring as she says that he is silly.
Elias is in the ring. He makes fun of the crowd and takes a jab at Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, which pisses off the crowd as they start a “Go Pack, Go” chant. Elias is upset over Jason Jordan tossing produce at him last night while he was performing then promises to give us an uninterrupted musical performance. He makes fun of Green Bay but stops due to some technical issues and demands the person responsible come out so he can beat them up. Jason Jordan comes out and mocks Elias as they will be wrestling after the break.
Elias vs. Jason Jordan
This match started during the break. Elias hammers away on Jordan in the corner as Cole brings up the controversial ending to their match last night. Elias now works a chinlock but Jordan fights out and hits a suplex. They take it outside where Jordan drives Elias into the barricade in front of some of the Packers but charges and gets whacked by the guitar for the DQ (3:18) *. Medical staff check on Jordan, who is clutching his shoulder, while Elias smiles as he heads up the ramp.
Thoughts: The action was forgettable and despite booing Elias, the crowd still does not care about Jordan and this current feud will do nothing to change that.
Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman come out to the ring. Heyman talks about Jinder Mahal having a problem that Lesnar is the undisputed champion and how Mahal has barely survived any title challenge he has had while champion. Heyman then talks about living in the age of trash-talking and do not want to respect their opponents and that he is in fact the King of Trash-Talking. Heyman says he has praised Goldberg, Samoa Joe, and Strowman but for the “make-believe Maharaja,” he is not even a worthy pretender to the throne of a WWE Champion then lists off all of the legends who have held that title to show how he pales by comparison. Heyman goes as far as to say Jinder is champion because Smackdown got the shaft during the Superstar Shakeup. He then officially accepts Jinder’s challenge for a match at Survivor Series. Some of this was entertaining but this is not the most exciting Lesnar match of 2017. I guess the story heading in will be that Jinder is constantly shit on for being a poor excuse of a champ so he will set out to prove everyone wrong.
Charly Caruso is backstage with Kalisto. He talks about being his dream to become champion and does not mind losing to someone as long as they are respected. Kalisto says he will invoke his rematch clause for a match tomorrow night on 205 Live then Cedric Alexander, Rich Swann, Gran Metalik, and Mustafa Ali come out as they are his partners in tonight’s 10-man tag match. This ends with them all doing the lucha chant.
Sasha Banks vs. Bayley vs. Alicia Fox
Fox fights off both women to start. She hits them both with Northern Lights suplexes but cannot get the win. Fox puts Sasha in a chinlock then tosses Bayley outside. Sasha tosses Fox in the corner then Bayley comes back in for a double dropkick that knocked Fox outside. Bayley was not even close on that. Fox runs in but is tossed onto the apron then gets kicked off to the floor as we head to break. The match returns with Fox putting Sasha in a chinlock while Bayley is out on the floor. Sasha gets two with a rollup then hits a spinning headscissors. She heads up top but Fox cuts her off and climbs up until Bayley comes in and they do a Tower of Doom spot. Bayley beats on Fox now but cannot put her away. Fox takes Bayley down with a kick to the face. Fox flips out after only getting a two count then says she does not want to play and leaves to repeatedly hit the ring bell as Booker declares the match is over. Fox stops then kicks Sasha and heads back inside but Bayley rolls her up for two. Bayley then hits the Bayley-to-Belly but Sasha makes the save. Bayley and Sasha slug it out then as Bayley sets up for her finisher but Fox is mimicking her from behind and hits a belly-to-belly suplex. Sasha puts Fox in the Banks Statement as Fox stays alive then shoves Sasha into Bayley, who was heading back into the ring, then Fox covers Bayley for the win (11:19) *1/4. After the match, Fox celebrates and kisses the ref.
Thoughts: Man, this was really bad. The first half was atrocious and the crowd never cared at any point during the match. The Alicia Fox is crazy stuff is grating too. The finish would lead to believe this might start a feud between Bayley and Sasha but the way they’ve been presented lately I don’t know if it will even get over. The booking of those two has been baffling to say the least. The story now is that Fox is the captain and will likely drive her team nuts with her antics.
Enzo comes out with his team, which consists of Drew Gulak, Tony Nese, Noam Dar, and Ariya Daivari. Enzo lost his voice and is wearing an eye patch. However, Gulak reads Enzo’s statement for him and does Enzo’s shtick while reading in the dorkiest voice possible. He pulled this off well. They also tossed more insults at the Packers.
Enzo Amore & Drew Gulak & Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari & Noam Dar vs. Kalisto & Cedric Alexander & Rich Swann & Mustafa Ali & Gran Metalik
Kalisto wants Enzo but he does not tag in so he chaes him off of the apron. Gran Metalik and Nese work a fast-paced sequence then the match breaks down. Enzo’s team is all outside then as Kalisto attempts a dive, Gulak jumps up on the apron to yell how this is a no fly zone but gets super-kicked by the entire team right before the break. The match returns with Dar working the arm of Swann inside of the ring. Gulak is in and taunts Kalisto while beating on Swann. Daivari and Swann collide after attempting crossbody blocks and are down on the mat. We then get a brawl outside while Enzo and Kalisto are on the apron. Daivari gets hit with an enziguiri then blindly tags Enzo, who was yelling at the rest of his team to get up. Kalisto also tags then run wild on Enzo for a bit. Enzo tosses Kalisto in the corner and hits the DDG but Alexander & Ali make the save before diving out with stereo topes. Swann & Metalik also hit dives to the floor then Kalisto puts Enzo away with the Salida del Sol (9:05) **1/4.
Thoughts: Fine for what it was and the crowd was into the dives. It also gave Kalisto some momentum heading into his title match tomorrow night.
Kurt Angle comes out to reveal the members of the RAW Survivor Series teams. However, Shane McMahon interrupts with the Smackdown Live roster as they come out through the crowd. Shane tells Angle he is “under siege” then Angle heads up the ramp. Shane tells his guys to get Angle and they all march up the ramp. We see them head backstage as they beat on Apollo Crews & Titus O’Neill. Corbin then tosses a production assistant as the Smackdown roster now starts tossing around and kicking equipment. Goldust, Curt Hawkins, and Rhyno try to fight but get destroyed then Smackdown beats on everyone that is left in the locker room. The women start brawling now with Smackdown winning that battle too. Rollins & Ambrose attack from behind but they are quickly outnumbered then Rusev & Baron Corbin drag out Kurt Angle to the ramp then inside of the ring. Shane then tells Angle at Survivor Series to bring his gold medal and what’s left of his roster so they can finish what has been started as the rest of the Smackdown roster starts banging on the apron.
There are a few ways you can look at this segment. You can say that having people who are feuding on Smackdown and coming together to destroy RAW without any explanation does not make sense. However, that is something you can follow up on tomorrow night with a motive as to why the attack took place then have some cracks in the foundation when guys who dislike each other start teaming up leading into the PPV. Also, this is a segment to get fans talking and wanting to tune into Smackdown tomorrow night. It is also different from the usual “brand supremacy” trope and more fun than two babyface GM’s playfully trading barbs to build up the show. I personally thought it was fun and different and can turn into a decent build for Survivor Series.
Final Thoughts: I liked the opening and closing segments but the rest of the show was quite weak overall. There was some questionable booking and showcasing of characters here and the company remains clueless when it comes to presenting babyface as people you want to cheer for and get behind. We are going to get a lot of build for Survivor Series and after tonight I do not think this will be the final appearance of Smackdown talent on RAW.