October 30, 2017
From the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, MD
Your hosts are Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Booker T
We get a highlight package from last week when Shane McMahon invaded RAW with the Smackdown Live roster as they took RAW #undersiege.
The live show starts with the RAW roster standing on the stage with GM Kurt Angle standing in the ring. Angle apologizes to his roster and says he put them in harms way last week. He then says this is the only time of the year when RAW and Smackdown Superstars compete but he is interrupted by the returning Stephanie McMahon. She welcomes the crowd then says on January 22nd it will be the 25th anniversary of RAW. She then brings up all that is happened and that she still backed him until he allowed her brother Shane to invade RAW. The crowd starts a “You still got it” chant then she starts screaming at Angle for being a failure and ruin what her father created in Monday Night RAW but will give him another shot when he is team Captain for the RAW Survivor Series team. She also expects victory and “total annihilation” or else there will be a new general manager. Another segment where Stephanie emasculates a talent. It was predictable the moment she came out and the promo itself was awful to be honest. It did set up Angle having to literally fight for his job at Survivor Series, which is fine and makes sense, but Stephanie’s was not good here at all.
Tonight, we will see Seth Rollins vs. Kane, Finn Balor vs. Cesaro, and Bayley vs. Alicia Fox
Backstage, Stephanie was getting into her limo as she told Angle to believe everything she just said and if not, just ask Mick Foley. She leaves then Miz arrives with the Miztourage as Bo Dallas has made his return. Miz thinks its unreal Angle was rewarded for being a bad general manager with being named captain of RAW’s Survivor Series Team. Angle has had enough and questions where he was at the end of the show last week when Smackdown took it over. He then said Miz will defend his Intercontinental Title tonight. Miz then wants to know who he will be facing but Angle tells him he would have found out had her arrived on time.
Fox comes out wearing a captain’s hat. She tells Bayley that since she is the captain at the Survivor Series team, she doesnt have time for a match but has found a replacement, which is Nia Jax. This stuff with Alicia Fox is not getting over and its not hard to figure out why.
Bayley vs. Nia Jax
Bayley charges at Nia and gets scooped up but manages to slip off and hammer away. Nia sends Bayley outside then rolls her back in but gets dropkicked down. Bayley welcomes Nia back then we head to break. The match returns with Nia beating on Bayley as Fox watches from the stage. Nia uses the ropes for leverage as she stomps away but Bayley pushes her up then kicks her outside. Bayley flies out and hammers away then hits a stunner as Nia is hung up in the ropes as that gets two. Nia fights back then bowls over Bayley before putting her away with a leg drop (7:26) *1/2. After the match, Fox pretends she is a captain speaking through a plane PA system and informs Nia that she is her first pick for the RAW team.
Thoughts: A basic match to give Nia a win after returning from a few weeks off. It also set her up as part of the RAW Women’s team as there are still three other spots left.
Samoa Joe now comes back and walks past everyone then we head to commercial. After the break, Joe acknowledges his response and says some of us have missed him while the crowd starts chanting. Joe says its amusing because he has not missed any of us then asked who actually reached out to him and cared when he was away and that since no one did then he does not care about a single one of us. Joe then says he will use that disrespect as fuel to beat everyone. Apollo Crews then comes out with Titus O’Neill for his match.
Samoa Joe vs. Apollo Crews w/ Titus O’Neill
Joe hammers away in the corner to start He follows with some knee strikes but Crews ducks under a swing and applies a side headlock. Joe regains control briefly until he runs into a dropkick. Crews lands some shots in the corner then tries for a suplex but fails and runs into a snap powerslam. Joe throws his gum at Titus then goes back to beating on Crews. He acts nonchalant and that allows Crews to hit a pair of enziguiris. Joe counters a spinning powerbomb with a side headlock then catches Crews with an uranage before the Coquina Clutch gets the win (3:38) *1/2. After the match, Joe taunts Titus, who takes off his coat. Joe pretends that he is leaving then locks Titus in the clutch as he was tending to Crews.
Thoughts: They gave Crews some offense here but Joe dominated for the most part. He also laid out Titus after the match to throw him back in the mix on RAW as a dominant force.
We find out that the 25th RAW Anniversary show will take place live from both the Manhattan Center and Hammerstein Ballroom with stars such as Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker.
WWE Intercontinental Title Match: Miz (c) w/ The Miztourage vs. Matt Hardy
Matt lands a pair of quick rollups for nearfalls then Miz is able to slip away from a Twist of Fate attempt. The crowd chants for Matt as he gets Miz over for a backslide then he hammers away. Miz yanks Matt outside but misses a kick then regroups with the Miztourage while Matt slid back inside. We go to commercial and return with Matt still in control. He misses a charge then Miz places him up top but is knocked down. Miz is able to cut Matt down then takes him off with a neckbreaker as that gets two. Miz gets another two count with his backbreaker/neckbreaker combo then targets Matt’s throat. He stomps away and hits his corner clothesline but takes his time and is caught coming off of the top rope. Miz misses a corner charge as both men are down. Matt is up first and runs wild hitting all of his signature spots and sets up for the Twist of Fate but that is blocked so he comes back with the Side Effect for a nearfall. He heads up top for a moonsault and that gets two. Miz comes back with his It Kicks but Matt is able to hit the Twist of Fate as both men are down. Miz was able to roll out onto the apron then stuns Matt on the ropes before hitting the Skull Crushing Finale for the win (13:02) **1/2.
Thoughts: It started off really sloppy but got better down the stretch. The fans were invested into the match and really wanted to see Matt win.
We get a clip from earlier when Stephanie named Angle captain of the RAW Survivor Series team and threatened his job if he lost.
Angle is shown backstage texting on his phone when Alexa Bliss interrupts. She congratulates him on being captain of RAW and says that she can help him keep his job by improving the Women’s Division by getting rid of Mickie James and replacing her with anyone from the Mae Young Classic or by digging up Mae herself. Angle responds by asking Alexa where she was last week when Smackdown invaded as Mickie fought back. He then says that tonight she will not be able to run as she defends the Women’s Title in the main event. Alexa gets pissed and storms off.
An Asuka hype video airs. She will be wrestling after the break.
Asuka vs. Stacie Cullen
Asuak drops Cullen with a spinning back fist then stomps away. She lays into Cullen with knee strikes and continues to beat her down as Cole points out the fact she was undefeated in NXT as Asuka puts on the Asuka Lock for the win (1:38).
Thoughts: Its like they are pretending her first two matches never existed since Emma got released. This was how she should have debuted on the roster. It made her feel special and like an actual force.
Angle is once again texting in his office. He then becomes worried and pulls out a walkie talkie to alert everyone someone is hear and it turns out to be Daniel Bryan as we head to commercial.
After the break, Angle accuses Bryan of trying to finish the job that Shane started. Bryan assures Shane he had nothing to do with the attack and that he came here on his own accord. He also states he was blindsided by the attack but Angle wants him to stay locked in his office because the rest of the roster will eat him alive.
We get a video package to hype the Jinder Mahal vs. Brock Lesnar match at Survivor Series.
Bryan is in Angle’s office on the phone. He said it didnt go well with Angle and that he was more concerned with his safety than anything else. All of a sudden, the lights turn off then we go to commercial. The show returns with Bryan back on the phone with the lights still off. He is talking to someone and says he was fumbling around everywhere trying to get out and the door was locked and is pissed off. However, Kane grabs Bryan then we hear a sound of what was supposed to be Bryan going through the desk. This was way too hokey, even by pro wrestling standards. Bad acting from Bryan too. So far, the RAW vs. Smackdown build has been all over the place.
Finn Balor vs. Cesaro w/ Sheamus
Finn works a side headlock to start. Cesaro cheap shots after a break then continues to hammer away. Balor fights back as the announcers talk about Balor being a loner. Cesaro overpowers Balor and hits a few uppercuts but eats boot on a charge then is dumped outside. Balor takes Cesaro down with a baseball slide before connecting with a running soccer kick on the apron. Cesaro then manages to distract the ref as Sheamus grabs Balor’s leg then Cesaro knocks Balor off of the apron right before the break. The action returns with Balor taking Cesaro off of the top with an enziguiri after a reversal sequence. Sheamus provides another distraction then Cesaro gets a nearfall with a pop-up uppercut. Cesaro then hits a deadlift superplex for a two count then tries for a sharpshooter and eventually turns Balor over. Cesaro turns that into a crossface but Balor escapes then runs wild and sets up for the Coup de Grace but Sheamus gets up on the apron. Balor kicks Sheamus off then backdrops Cesaro outside before taking out both men with a tope con hilo. Back inside, Balor hits Cesaro with a double stomp to the back of the neck and gets the win (11:24) ***1/4.
Thoughts: Good match. Balor gets a much needed win after getting destroyed by Kane last week.
After the match, Balor heads up the ramp but Kane’s music hits and he comes out. Balor fires away but Kane boots him in the face then hits a tombstone on the ramp as Balor’s head was almost a foot off of the ground. The Shield’s music hits next as we go to break. Again, Balor picks up a key victory let is made to look like a goof afterwards by Kane. Why even bother at this point?
Kane vs. Seth Rollins w/ Dean Ambrose
Rollins hammers away to start. Kane gets knocked off of the apron but cuts off a dive attempt then takes control. We see Cesaro & Sheamus watching from ringside as Rollins fights back. Kane cuts off Rollins and hits a pair of running attacks in the corner before hitting a side slam for a nearfall. Rollins catches a charging Kane with a boot then an enziguiri. Rollins heads up top and hits a blockbuster for two. He flies out for a tope as Rollins is almost spiked on his head. Rollins hits Kane with a pair of springboard clotheslines then flies out to save Ambrose from The Bar but walks inside and is caught in a chokeslam as Kane picks up the win (5:41) *. After the match, Kane sets up for another chokeslam but Ambrose heads in for the Dirty Deeds. However, Kane pops up and The Bar beat on Ambrose. Kane hits Ambrose with a tombstone then Rollins lays on top of Ambrose but Kane picks him up for a tombstone too.
Thoughts: Kane is slow and old but tonight he got to get over at the expense of Balor, Rollins, and Ambrose. And for what? Its not like people were buying Kane as a threat when was on Smackdown and after feuding with Lesnar and Big Show you think people are going to buy him as a threat against Strowman? Constantly putting older talent over your younger talent will always keep the young talent down.
We see Bryan get loaded up on a stretcher and wheeled out of Angle’s office.
Miz & The Miztourage head into the locker room. However, there is a bad smell as someone left a garbage bag in there as Miz says its Braun Strowman and looked frightened. Axel assures him he is gone as they left him in the back of a garbage truck.
After the break, Miz walks into Kane. He asks him about tossing Strowman into the garbage truck as Kane reminds him that he helped him out along with The Bar. Kane then says if Strowman is back he will have to face him. Miz smiles and is glad they are on the same team but Kane gets the last laugh and says Miz is all by himself with this problem.
We get clips of Strowman getting tossed into the garbage truck.
Trick or Street Fight: Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. Rhyno & Heath Slater
Gallows & Anderson are dressed as Tex Ferguson & Chadd 2 Badd while Rhyno & Slater are dressed as Mr. & Mrs. Santa Clause. They have Halloween decorations all over the place and we get such hilarious spots as forced bobbing for apples and the jack-o-lantern double noggin-knocker. Gallows & Anderson beat on Slater for a bit but Anderson misses a corner attack then Rhyno no-sells a grave marker shot by Gallows and attacks him after a flash then smashes a pie in his face as Cole says “this is tremendous” in the least convincing way possible. Gallows & Anderson fight back then Anderson puts a pumpkin over his head and comes off of the top but is caught and put through a table by Rhyno and that gets the win (4:52) -**
Thoughts: This was so bad it belonged on a 2000 WCW PPV. The crowd was dead (Let’s get real, this segment was for an audience of one and he owns the company) and after watching three of their favorites get squashed by Kane can you really blame them?
The Miz chats with The Bar and as them about Braun Strowman. They convince him Strowman would not be able to come back from that attack after one week. Miz is glad they are part of a strong team but The Bar tell him that he is alone.
Elias is in the ring for the Ballad of Jason Jordan. We are shown a video of him smashing his guitar over Jordan’s shoulder last week but Jordan interrupts and tosses Elias around. Elias bails then Jordan stomps on the guitar and tosses it up the aisle.
Miz & The Miztourage try to leave but Angle mandates them to stay.
Enzo Amore heads out to the ring, where Drew Gulak is standing. They both put down Angle for being an incompetent general manager. Gulak then does the SAWFT routine but spells the word correctly then gives a thumbs up as Enzo tells him never to do that again. Watching Gulak perform Enzo’s routine in perfect English was funny. Gulak is tremendous in this role.
Drew Gulak w/ Enzo Amore vs. Kalisto
They go back-and-forth to start but Kalisto takes him with a tornillo. Kalisto hits an enziguiri and spikes Gulak with a hurricarana before the Salida Del Sol gets the win (0:58). Enzo immediately runs in after the match and beats on Kalisto.
Thoughts: Gulak could not even get a minute with Kalisto. Anyway, looks like the Enzo vs. Kalisto feud will continue.
Miz is in the locker room and wants the Miztourage to get the car ready so they can leave as soon as the show ends.
RAW Women’s Championship: Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Mickie James
Mickie gets the best of Alexa to start then we head to break. The match returns with Alexa cranking the neck. Mickie fights back and we get a “CM Punk” chant. Mickie heads up top but Alexa flings her off then goes up herself only or Mickie to kick her off as Alexa falls to the apron then on the floor. She heads back inside where Mickie almost puts her away then sets up for a kick but Alexa bails. Mickie drags Alexa back inside and gets a few pinfall attempts but ends up getting punched in the face and that wins the match for Alexa (11:18) *1/2.
Thoughts: Boring, and a good chunk of this took place during the break. Their match at TLC was much better. Mickie losing to a punch signals that this feud is over now as another babyface looks incompetent after feuding with Alexa.
Miz & The Miztourage are rushing to leave the arena. They get into the limo but it slams on the breaks as there is a garbage truck blocking their path. The back opens and trash flows out then Strowman gets up as the camera zooms in at a horrified Miz. Strowman roars then chases after him when they fled the limo. Alexa is still posing in the ring as we see Miz & Axel on the stage. Strowman heads after Miz but Dallas & Axel attack from behind. Strowman shrugs them off then flings Miz into the screens and clears the announcers table. Strowman then tosses them all down the ramp and into the ring and beats the crap out of Axel as the crowd approves. Miz & Bo eventually crawl up the ramp and bail as Strowman carries Axel up the ramp then puts him through the announcers table. Strowman then rips off his shirt and roars as the show ends. This segment was ludicrous and the insulted the intelligence of anyone watching (I mean they even showed the highlight package from TLC in the show that you saw Strowman get tossed in a completely different garbage truck than what he popped out of tonight) but the fans love Strowman and love watching him destroy people even more so it worked. Strowman should be the focus of RAW. He has been able to remain bulletproof from this horrible storyline.
Final Thoughts: This was a show that makes you embarrassed to watch wrestling. If I was not recapping this show, I would have shut it off. The storylines were awful and the acting and scripting were on the same level. The overproducing in every segment is not going to make more people drawn to the product. Just concentrate on putting out a better wrestling product. If you want to capture the interest of lapsed fans or those vaguely interested in wrestling then you need to put wrestling-minded people in creative positions. If you want to continue with those who have minimal experience watching wrestling then you’ll end up with more shows like what we got tonight. No one wants to watch a terrible TV show with uninteresting characters, especially not one that lasts three hours long.
They have just two more RAWs before Survivor Series and the build has been poor. The news of Angle’s job being on the line is something but really, how many of these storylines do we need, especially after we just had Mick Foley get fired by Stephanie? The other title vs. title matches at the PPV are without fanfare and the Cruiserweight Division might get shut out of the card entirely.