November 14, 2016
From the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, NY
Your hosts are Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, and Michael Cole
The show starts off with all of the RAW participants in the Survivor Series on the ramp as Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley address them in the ring. Stephanie tells them they are the elite of the WWE and will have a chance to prove they are the best at Survivor Series. She also lets us know that Shane McMahon and Smackdown Live GM Daniel Bryan will also be here too. Foley tells us its about how guys like Kevin Owens proving he is a more dominant champion than AJ Styles and how Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns can prove who is the best of the Shield. He also tells the women they have the chance to prove Smackdown they are the best women’s division in the WWE as Stephanie does a bad impression of Enzo & Cass to say they will show American Alpha who is the best up-and-coming team while Brian Kendrick can keep the Cruiserweight Championship while Sami Zayn can bring home the Intercontinental Championship. Stephanie then says that last week was about getting out personal animosity but tonight is about showing teamwork. Mick tells us that Sheamus & Cesaro will face Roman Reigns & Kevin Owens while Stephanie says that Seth Rollins will team up with Chris Jericho, the man he powerbombed through a table, and Braun Strowman, who was on the table against the New Day. We then learn that Charlotte & Sasha Banks will team up to face Alicia Fox & Nia Jax.
They established tonight’s theme of having everyone representing RAW at the Survivor Series work together, regardless of how they feel about each other. Stephanie also said their jobs are on the line but its not a stipulation fans are going to care about as its obvious they are not going to fire everyone who gets eliminated or loses. This segment was very short too as it was only several minutes long and that fact alone was refreshing, even if the content was not.
Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens & Roman Reigns
Cesaro and Reigns start things off. They go back-and-forth to start until Reigns takes control. Owens refuses to tag in then Cesaro whips Reigns into the corner where Sheamus & Cesaro keep tagging each other in blindly as they hit Reigns in the corner. Reigns reaches the ropes after Cesaro tried to put him in a sharpshooter then Reigns is outside where Owens yells at him, allowing Cesaro to fly out with a twisting pescado as we head to break. We return as Owens is beating on Cesaro then gets a nearfall with a cannonball before applying a chinlock. Cesaro fights back and tags out as Sheamus runs wild on Owens, who rolls outside. Sheamus hits him in the chest with forearm smashes, with the crowd mildly counting along, then brings him back inside. Owens tosses Sheamus outside then tags Reigns, who ends up tossing Sheamus over the steps and hitting a clothesline. Back inside, Reigns hits clotheslines in the corner then hits the Superman Punch but Cesaro breaks up the pin. Reigns takes Cesaro outside with a Superman Punch then signals for the spear but Owens tags himself in as they get into each other’s faces. Sheamus takes Owens out with a Brogue Kick but Reigns hits Sheamus with the spear then pauses before dragging Owens and placing him on top of Sheamus for the win (12:10) **. After the match, both Owens and Reigns hold their respective title belts as Owens holds up the Universal Championship near Reigns’ face before leaving.
Thoughts: The match wasnt anything special at all and two teams comprised of guys feuding is not an exciting dynamic. I will say that I thought it was a nice touch to have Reigns drag Owens on top of Sheamus for the pin since Owens decided to tag himself into the match before he was going to hit the spear. The crowd did not even care near the end and this had both the Universal and United States Champion present. It was clear though after watching this that Reigns was clearly being presented above everyone else, including the Universal Champion Kevin Owens.
Clip of last week where Rollins powerbombed Jericho on top of Strowman through a table. We then see all three men backstage as Jericho tells them to be happy as Owens & Reigns won their match tonight. Jericho stresses how they need to get on the same page and work together to win as he hands them both gifts. Rollins looks disgusted as he pulls out a scarf, stating if he wanted to dress like him he would “raid Lady Gaga’s closet.” He leaves as Strowman tells Jericho he wants the scarf he is wearing. Jericho says it costs $750 but gives it to Strowman to keep the unity going. Jericho then opens up the scarf he gave to Strowman and puts it on while Strowman rips up the $750 scarf and says that he does not like scarves and he does not like Jericho. This was okay as Jericho was entertaining and Strowman ripping up the scarf was pretty funny, even if they should be going all out into making him an unstoppable monster. However, Rollins’ dialogue was extremely lame and using these types of lines will never get Rollins over as a babyface talent.
Bo Dallas vs. Sami Zayn
This match was made after the RAW pre-show when Bo expressed anger over Zayn getting the Intercontinental Title shot so Zayn gave him a match tonight. Match starts with Zayn getting the best of Bo. Zayn gets backed into the corner as Bo nails him with back elbow smashes. He clotheslines Zayn and stays in control for a bit. Zayn fights out and sends Bo into the corner with an exploder before putting him away with the Helluva Kick (2:30) *1/2. After the match, Saxton comes into the ring and asks him about facing either Dolph Ziggler or the Miz for the Intercontinental Championship. Zayn calls Ziggler out for dressing like a “Poison wannabe” and that the Miz is a “community theater reject” before saying it doesnt matter who he faces as he will bring the Intercontinental Title back to where it belongs on RAW.
Thoughts: Quick match to put Zayn over heading into his Intercontinental Title match at the Survivor Series. I will say that his post match interview did not fit his character at all as he insulted Miz and even Ziggler, his potential opponents. It also appears that whatever midcard push Bo had going on as come to an end.
Brian Kendrick address the Cruiserweight Division backstage, saying he is the savior of the division and that their futures hang in the balance. TJ Perkins and Rich Swann both make cases as to why they should get title shots as well. Sin Cara then points out that his former partner, Kalisto, will at least make for an honorable champion, unlike Kendrick, as that leads to screaming as the rest keep Sin Cara and Kendrick away from each other. Bad segment and the pull apart at the end came off as terribly contrived. I’m sorry but Kendrick does not fit at all as the Cruiserweight Champion.
The New Day come out on the ramp. Xavier introduces us to “Francesca II: Turbo” as he reminds us they have almost been Tag Team Champions for 450 days before showing off some of their merchandise. Really just a segment for the WWE to show off their New Day merchandise. I did chuckle a bit at the crowd chanting “New Day Socks” though.
The New Day vs. Chris Jericho & Braun Strowman & Seth Rollins
Before the match, Jericho acts as the captain and starts off the match against Kofi. He hits a few chops before telling the crowd to shut up as they are chanting for the New Day. Kofi fights back and hits a dropkick and an armdrag before tagging Xavier. Jericho tags out by slapping Rollins in the chest then Rollins works a side headlock on the mat after a reversal sequence. They have another reversal sequence that was a bit mistimed before Rollins hits a sling blade for two. Rollins tags Jericho as he works over Xavier in the corner. Jericho misses a charge as Xavier gets two with a rolling clothesline. The New Day then hit Jericho with a bunch of jumping attacks as that gets a nearfall. They continue to work over Jericho, who finally comes back when he catches Kofi with a boot. Jericho tags Strowman as Kofi tries to use his speed to elude him but ends up getting slammed down after trying a baseball slide as Cole warns Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan about Strowman’s power. Back from commercial, Strowman tags back in and drops an elbow on Kofi. He works a nerve hold for a bit that Kofi breaks up with a jawbreaker but ends up tagging Rollins, who works a chinlock. Big E & Kofi rally the crowd behind Kofi, who comes back with a meteora of sorts as both men are down. Rollins tags as Strowman enters but he misses a charge in the corner as Kofi makes the tag. Xavier runs wild on Jericho for a bit then Kofi flies outside but Strowman catches and slams him down to the mat. Big E comes out and charges but Strowman runs over and knocks him down in an impressive spot. Back inside, Xavier breaks up a Walls of Jericho attempt but Jericho makes the tag and whips Xavier towards Strowman, who puts him away with a running powerslam (14:03) **1/2. After the match, Jericho yells at Rollins about how he is the captain and ends up eating a Pedigree.
Thoughts: The match was clunky at times but did pick up at the end and the goal was to make Strowman appear like a force and he did look like that here for the most part. Rollins attacking Jericho, who is the most over person on RAW, after the match is also not getting him over.
Backstage, Stephanie and Foley talk about how happy they are about guys putting aside their differences to work together. Paul Heyman interrupts as he claps as Stephanie asks him how he feels after getting speared by Goldberg and if his “extra padding” helped. Heyman joked about Stephanie calling him fat but said at Survivor Series, Goldberg will not be facing him but rather Brock Lesnar. He leaves after hinting how Lesnar might attack Goldberg tonight. Stephanie tells Foley to make sure that their match happens at the Survivor Series so Foley calls security to make sure their segment happens tonight.
Charlotte is in the locker room with Sasha Banks and asks “what is your deal?” Sasha calls Charlotte “crazier than Miley Cyrus” as things get tense. Charlotte brings up how Sasha is jealous over the fact she lost the Women’s Championship while Sasha reminds her she has a rematch. Charlotte tells her tonight, she will teach her how to win a match when the lights are on so she better check her ego at the door. Sasha then says all eyes will be on Charlotte when she loses as he jokingly referred to her as “captain.” Some of the dialogue here was wretched but they still got over the fact they dislike each other.
Brian Kendrick vs. Sin Cara
Kendrick attacks Sin Cara before the bell and sends him into the post then out to the floor. Sin Cara gets back inside and they finally ring the bell as Kendrick hammers away. Cole puts over the “205 Live” show and how it will debut in two weeks as Kendrick works over the neck. Sin Cara blocks a DDT with a Northern Lights suplex for two but Kendrick hits Sin Cara then chokes him out on the middle rope. Sin Cara backdrops Kendrick to the floor then hits him with a tope then they head back inside where Sin Cara clotheslines him back to the floor but this time Kendrick sidesteps the tope and pushes Sin Cara to the floor as we head to break. The match returns with Sin Cara lifting himself up from the tree-of-woe to dodge an attack then he get two with a splash. Kendrick comes back with a cradle suplex for two but Sin Cara catches him with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Sitout powerbomb gets two. Sin Cara chops Kendrick in the corner then they collide after Kendrick floats over in a terrible looking spot as the crowd is getting restless. Sin Cara is up first and fight back as he gets a nearfall with a springboard back elbow smash. He places Kendrick up top but Kendrick shoves him off after twisting his mask then puts on the Captain’s Hook for the win (11:03) *1/2.
Thoughts: Oh man, the crowd practically turned on this match. There also were some communication issues, especially towards the end, and you could loudly hear them call spots at points during the match. Kendrick is so not the person to be the champion of this division. They need people young and exciting, not someone who wrestles a style you would expect from an opening match guy in 1988 WWF. The WWE needs to present this as exciting and fresh and has really failed with how they’ve thrown everyone together in meaningless matches.
Enzo & Big Cass are backstage when Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson come in and make fun of them. Enzo & Big Cass dish it back out as Anderson & Gallows tell them to drop the comedy and get serious while Enzo & Cass point out how they told everyone last week they’d stab them in the back if given the chance. Enzo gets some digs in on them, as does Cass, as this ends.
The announcers tell us about the new Goldberg DLC pack for WWE 2K17. After that, we see Mick Foley instruct the security on what to do tonight when Goldberg and Lesnar are face-to-face.
We come back live with security forming a line diagonally across the ring. First comes out Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman then Goldberg comes out as they are separated by security. Goldberg cuts Heyman off and says this has nothing to do with him as its about Brock and himself as the crowd is chanting for Goldberg as they are jacked up for the guy. Heyman tries to introduce Lesnar again but Goldberg yells at him to shut up so he pauses then puts over the brave men as part of security, saying they are here to protect Goldberg. Heyman gets interrupted again before telling Goldberg these security guys will not be there on Sunday and to ask the Undertaker and John Cena about Lesnar. Goldberg yells at Heyman again to shut up before telling Lesnar he knows it burns him up when reminded that he beat him then calls out Lesnar for calling out his family last week. Heyman then apologizes for raising his voice and talks about the “Fantasy Warfare just got real” slogan for the Survivor Series then we get some more pausing until Goldberg rips off his shirt as Heyman was talking as Lesnar shoves down a few security guards as Heyman tells Goldberg that Lesnar will beat him so bad his own son will call Lesnar “daddy” as Goldberg gets even more pissed then starts tossing around security guards. Lesnar is on the apron as Goldberg stares him down as Lesnar teases going in but jumps off of the apron and ends up walking away.
I liked how this was presented with the security guards in the ring and the tease at the end came off great too. Some of the promo went on for too long, IMO, but the live crowd loved Goldberg and the segment sold the match well.
Charlotte w/ Dana Brooke & Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox & Nia Jax
Bayley is on commentary. They ask her about Charlotte’s comment stating she was the weak link of the team as Bayley brings up how she pinned her last week. Sasha jumps off of the apron when Charlotte goes for a tag as she will have to face Jax. Charlotte bounces off of Jax twice then tags out as Sasha tries to take Jax off of her feet but gets run over then dumped outside as we go to break. The match returns with Sasha working over Fox. Charlotte tags herself in as Sasha starts fighting her then they end up knocking each other down. Jax comes in and knocks Charlotte down but Sasha floats over and snaps her neck across the top rope. Charlotte then boots Jax, who tags out. Charlotte and Sasha fight again as Fox takes them down with a crossbody from the top but they kick out and Sasha puts on the Banks Statement as Charlotte hits Jax as she tried to enter and Fox ends up tapping out (7:37) 1/4*. After the match, Bayley comes into the ring and raises their hands.
Thoughts: I thought this match was a disaster. Sasha’s segment with Jax came off horribly and the fighting between Sasha and Charlotte looked just as bad, if not worse. Jax needs a ton of work when it comes to selling.
The announcers remind us that the Survivor Series starts at 7pm EST and about the NXT Takeover: Canada show on Saturday night. They then hype the Survivor Series Summit that will happen tonight.
Foley is backstage with the RAW team as he congratulates them for proving they do not have to be best friends to win matches. Jericho reminds him that he and Owens are best friends and should be co-captains. Foley wants them to make RAW proud and after the Summit, to stick around for a “fireworks show.” This is pretty much telling the viewer that Team Smackdown will be here and a brawl will ensue.
Emmalina will be coming soon to RAW
Enzo & Big Cass & Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows vs. Shining Stars & Golden Truth
Before the match, Enzo mentioned how their opponents are also their partners. The match starts with Epico getting worked over. Cass sends him to the floor with a clothesline then the Golden Truth dump Gallows & Anderson and have a staredown with Enzo & Cass as we head to break. We return as the Golden Truth are working over Anderson. Truth accidentally knocks Epico off of the apron and looks at him, allowing Anderson to attack from behind. Gallows tags and hits a suplex and an elbow drop then cuts off a comeback with a knee smash. Anderson tags and works a chinlock but Truth fights out and hits a spin kick. He eventually makes a tag as Primo stuck his hand in front of Goldust’s but Cass also tags in and runs wild. Epico tries to interfere but the Golden Truth, their teammates, prevent him. Anderson tags in to hit Primo with a spinebuster then Gallows comes in for the Magic Killer. They signal for Enzo to get up top for the finish but it was a tease as Gallows laughs then covers for the win (9:03) 1/2*.
Thoughts: Terrible match and the end was just moronic. Golden Truth is not in the Survivor Series so they just decided to throw the match and attack their opponents, who ripped them off with a timeshare, as the other team had problems too but involving some teasing after pretending they would team together. Again, when that is the dynamic of the match, no one is going to care.
We are now ready for the Survivor Series summit. Stephanie calls Bryan’s “yes” gesture embarrassing as Shane and Bryan joke about not coming out to promote the 900th episode of Smackdown and that the “Cutting Edge” and the Undertaker will be on the show. Stephanie tells them RAW is the dominant brand as Shane tells her Smackdown as drafted better and have the better show as the crowd does the “yes” chants while Shane tells Stephanie nothing has changed as she rules with fear while they on Smackdown reward with opportunity. Stephanie then calls out Shane for taking a spot away from a Smackdown star by putting himself into the Survivor Series match and the only reason people like him is that he banters with them and “jumps off of tall structures.” Bryan says that what she called out Shane for doing is what Foley was famous for and people love him for that. He also said that Shane was put on the team as he is a real leader, unlike Stephanie, as Bryan also thanks Mick for putting the Cruiserweight Division on the line as it will be a welcome addition to Smackdown. Foley goes off and says he put that division on the line because he believes in Brian Kendrick and that how is putting the women in the main event at Hell in a Cell does not make him complacent then Shane and Stephanie go back-and-forth regarding who has the bigger ego. Stephanie then decides to bring out Team RAW as they all come out to the ring. The crowd then starts chanting for AJ Styles as Bryan asks Stephanie & Mick if they honestly think they came alone and bring out Team Smackdown, as they head through the crowd as both teams are staring each other down inside of the ring. Owens and Styles go at each other over who holds the more important championship as that ends with Jericho putting Styles and his “stupid soccer mom haircut” on the list. Jericho then points out James Ellsworth and makes fun of him for a bit and puts him on the list as Ellsworth sells disappointment in a hilarious moment. Jericho even called him “Chince McMahon.” After that, Bray Wyatt stares down Strowman and says he abandoned his “brothers” and that he was his creation, promising to destroy it as Seth interrupts to tell Shane this is not a fight he wants to pick while putting over his teammates. Dean Ambrose then grabs the microphone and acts like he is going to say something but instead hits Jericho as a gigantic brawl breaks out. Strowman cleans house for a bit and targets Shane but Styles & Ambrose lay into him until Shane takes Strowman and himself outside with a clothesline. Reigns comes in and hits a few Superman Punches until Styles cuts off his dive attempt but Rollins comes in and hits Styles with the Pedigree as Reigns then tosses Styles outside with a powerbomb onto Team Smackdown as the show ends with Reigns & Rollins standing tall in the ring as Stephanie is clapping from the floor.
Long segment and the brawl was predictable but it came off well as he finally saw some tension between the teams that will be facing each other instead of tension within the teams themselves.
Final Thoughts: Well, they hyped up the two big Survivor Series matches well tonight. However, the show-long theme of making guys try to work together made for some bad matches and the action in general was poor. That could have also been due to the fact they just got off of a plane from Madrid today. Overall, I’d say tonight’s show was mediocre and that was mostly due to a lot of bad wrestling and dialogue.
For RAW, it was crystal clear tonight that Strowman, Reigns, and Rollins are the top three guys on the show going forward. Besides some of his promo tonight, Owens is still being presented as an upper midcard talent and nothing more.
The hype for the Survivor Series has largely been built up using buzzwords like “Fantasy Warfare” and “Battle for Brand Supremacy” but those are not terms that will get a fan to care about a match. Plus, they needed a better hook to sell the three traditional Survivor Series matches other than the fact all the teams going in have conflict with each other as that will get old quick this Sunday. They at least did a better job for one of those matches anyway.
Goldberg vs. Lesnar was hyped well and the brawl at the end was fun and finally showed the teams as unified for once but as far as the rest of the card is concerned, there is little reason to care at this point.