What’s good everybody, it’s your boi Dre aka Xavier back again to rundown this week’s episode of RAW. A lot of interesting stuff happened and creative continues to shake things up in what’s probably been the best built yet at the same time most unstable card ever with most of Survivor Series matches not being written stone which is probably why the build for this PPV has been so amazing to begin with. Well anyway, without further ado, let’s get to it.
IN RING SEGMENT WITH KURT ANGLE, STEPHANIE MCMAHON & THE SHIELD
One thing I’ve noticed about the interactions between Stephanie & Kurt Angle these past few weeks is that Steph really could careless about brand pride or brand supremacy. Her whole agenda seems built around showing up her older brother, Shane, more than anything. Hey, that’s what makes a heel a heel. They always seem to have there own selfish agenda.
Sometimes I feel like I’m watching “Judge Judy” with Stephanie sometimes the way she belittles and chops down grown ass men with her words and condescending tone but at the end of the day it’s that snobby “my daddy is rich so I can talk to you the way I want” attitude that makes Stephanie such an amazing heel even if that comes at the expense of others. It’s who she is and who she’s always been so I’m really not that upset about it.
I loved how Stephanie continues to pick apart every single move that Angle makes even going as far as bashing Angle for picking his son Jason Jordan to be the 5th member when John Cena was still available and even going as far as trying to fire him until the Shield interrupted.
Man it’s great to see my boi, Roman Reigns, back on RAW again. No disrespect to Angle but the Shield just isn’t quite the Shield unless it’s the original version. I enjoyed the back and forth between Stephanie and Roman here as well and got a kick out of Roman bringing up the fact that Steph has been MIA most of the year because Seth put her through a table, and loved Seth’s reaction to it.
It was pretty much a forgone conclusion that we would be getting the announcement of Shield vs New Day at SS tonight and I’m all for it. Both factions are easily the two most over factions in the WWE over the past decade.
MICKIE JAMES VS DANA BROOKE VS BAYLEY
Rumors had been swirling over the past week that Paige would be returning on Monday to be added as the 4th competitor for this match. Clearly it was just that, a rumor. With Paige’s return not happening it was pretty obvious that Bayley would be going over here. It was the right choice even if it is super predictable. That match itself was okay but the highlight of it all probably came when Asuka kicked a whole in the side of Dana’s head after being slapped.
IN RING SEGMENT WITH ENZO & GULAK
I can’t say enough how hilarious Gulak is. He doesn’t have a cool bone in his body and that’s what makes this pairing with Enzo and him so great. He literally answered Enzo’s catch phrase, how could you not get a kick out of that?
KALISTO & AKIRA VS ENZO & GULAK
I was a little surprised to see Enzo pick up the win here. I figured we’d see Kalisto get a clean pin on Enzo here keeping with the tradition of the challenger getting the upper hand on the champion on the “go home” show. Nonetheless I still think the odds are really good that Enzo retains on Sunday.
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT WITH TEAM RAW (KURT ANGLE, JASON JORDAN, SAMOA JOE, FINN BALOR & BRAUN STROWMAN)
Two main things I wanna point out here with this segment: First I’ll start with Braun. The WWE needs to really be careful to tread lightly with the way they handle Strowman’s push as a face (which seems to be what he is now). I cringed a little when Strowman said “it’s true, it’s damn true”. It wasn’t terrible but I’m little concerned that creative may get the crazy idea of turning him into a big goof the way they’ve done with past big men. I admit that presenting Strowman as a face while still maintaining his monster presence could be challenging but I’m really hoping that creative finds that balance.
Secondly, when Angle placed JJ in a match with Bray Wyatt to prove that he wasn’t showing favoritism, I thought it would have been a great opportunity for Angle to add the stip that if he lost, he would be replaced by Bray on Team RAW. It would have been a great way to plant seeds for a JJ/Angle feud down the line if Jordan were to lose to Bray. What ended up happening later in the evening may have been more impactful.
MIZ TV WITH THE BAR
Miz was spitting fire on the mic like he usually does. He went in on Corbin and really highlighted how much of an underachiever Corbin has been since being called up on the main roster and pointed out how he’s squandered opportunity after opportunity. I give the Miz major props for doing everything he could to hype up this match because on paper it’s one of the weaker match ups. h at’s no knock on Miz/Corbin but more or less just giving praise to the other matches on the SS card and how well they’ve been built up.
The Bar were solid in this segment to putting out the fact that they took advantage of the opportunity presented to them last week which is a nice play off of what Miz said about Corbin earlier.
JASON JORDAN VS BRAY WYATT
Man, what a tough spot for Jason Jordan to be in. Going into this match, I knew Jordan going over was very likely which in turn would make fans resent him and the push he’s getting even more. It’s unfortunate because Jordan seems like a good dude who’s just trying to make the most of the push he’s been afforded. Just as I suspected, Jordan went over Wyatt and was attacked afterwards to the delight of fans.
Jordan seems to be getting something entirely different then the type of heat a guy like Cena or Roman would normally get. Jordan’s reminds me so much of the push that the Rock was getting in late ’96/early ’97 as Rocky Maivia – the happy-go-lucky super-naive babyface and just like Rocky 20 years earlier, fans don’t care for that type of babyface today either.
As for Bray, did they just drop the Sister Abigail angle already or are they holding off until after Survivor Series? At this point, it’s a very valid question considering how hot and cold creative is with him (mostly cold though). It feels like it’s been a couple of months or so since he’s last picked up a win over somebody. I hate saying this because Wyatt is such a talented performer but he’s essentially become a jobber these days.
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT WITH KURT ANGLE & JASON JORDAN
This was interesting to say the least and did a good job of laying down ground work for there in ring segment later in the night. I thought Angle did a decent enough of a job of putting over his concern for Jordan’s health after being attacked by Bray Wyatt. Jordan wasn’t bad here either conveying how important it was this Sunday was to him and trying to convince Angle not to pull him from the match.
IN RING SEGMENT WITH BROCK LESNAR & PAUL HEYMAN
This was Heyman at his absolute best. Heyman seemed uninterested in his promo a couple weeks ago when he addressed Jinder Mahal but this past Monday, it was clear how invested he is for a AJ/Brock match up. Heyman really broke this match down and sold his ass off for AJ on the mic before eventually telling the world that he can’t survive Brock. A part of me wonders if Heyman or Brock possibly both played a role in getting this match changed.
Before I move on, how about that proposal in the crowd? Heyman looked legit confused for a bit until Brock apparently clued him into what was going on. In true Heyman fashion, he was not to be outdone – making it clear why he’s probably the best talker in the business.
THE SHIELD VS THE MIZ & THE BAR
This was a pretty enjoyable 6-man tag match that saw The Shield pick up the win as expected. What really caught my eye here was how happy Dean, Seth & Roman looked out there tonight. You could that they all really enjoyed teaming up again and were having a ton of fun out there.
I’m really looking forward to the Shield’s match up on Sunday with the New Day. If anyone remembers those epic match ups with The Wyatts and those battles with Evolution, you know how great they could be with the New Day on Sunday.
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT WITH KANE
When Kane dawn’s the mask I think it would be best if he said less. It would make this renewed push he’s gotten in recent weeks for more convincing.
IN RING SEGMENT WITH KURT ANGLE, JASON JORDAN, STEPHANIE MCMAHON & TRIPLE H
There are a lot of different ways to view this segment from. On one hand, you could make a case that Jason Jordan was completely buried and cast aside like yesterday’s trash in order to make room for a older part timer from the Attitude era. You could quite possibly look at it, though, as the turning point in Jason Jordan’s career.
I really enjoyed the way this segment unfolded and was brought back. I was genuinely surprised to see Triple H show up. With Stephanie feeling threatened by the fact that John Cena was added to team SD, it makes sense for her to view Jason Jordan as a weak link and want him replaced immediately so Triple H undermining Angle’s authority to insert himself into the match is logical.
Now onto Jason Jordan. Truth be told, I thought was good here. He showed more personality and emotion in this one segment then he has since being with the company. I don’t know to many dudes who can flip a switch and cry on the spot the way he did so kudos to him. Not only did Jordan do a good job of conveying emotion here, he did an even better job of putting over how it important it was for him to wrestle side by side with his father (and the guy he grew up idolizing). The anguish and the internal conflict that Angle faced between doing the right thing or saving his job was expressed beautifully through his facial expressions as well.
I walked away from this segment thinking how WWE left this open to a ton of possibilities. Angle literally doing nothing as Stephanie berated and insulted him in front of Jordan and Angle just watching as Triple H pedigreed Jordan easily justifies Jason turning on his father soon. I can easily see a scenario where Jason becomes the latest protégée to Triple H who convinced him that being the nice guy won’t get you anywhere in this business and that he can go further listening to him then he ever could listening to his father. Whether Jordan can even pull off being a convincing heel is one thing but this segment definitely leaves that window wide open.
FINN BALOR & SAMOA JOE VS THE CLUB
Both Finn and Joe are on Team RAW and yet they kind of feel irrelevant to a degree in this whole RAW vs SD turf war. Neither guy really has any direction. I’m not even sure if the Finn/Wyatt feud is even a thing anymore. This tag match put together by Kurt Angle more or less felt like a way to get them on TV.
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT WITH ALEXA BLISS
We pretty much got a standard heel promo from Alexa here were she ran down Charlotte and Natalya a bit before threatening to show up on Smackdown.
BRAUN STROWMAN VS KANE
I must say that I was a little disappointed with this match up. This just never seemed to get past first gear and the chemistry just wasn’t there the way it was for Strowman/Bog Show during their many encounters on RAW. It almost felt like I was watching two big guys from the ’80s try and manage their way through a slow plodding match. The whole thing was pretty generic to say the least.
I hate to be so negative but even the spot at the end with Strowman slamming Kane through the ring was really underwhelming and left me saying “that was it”? Spots like that can always offer up a special moment as long as they aren’t placed so close together which unfortunately it was. This all happened too soon after the Big Show/Strowman match with the ring collapsing and Strowman sending Show through the cage after their steel cage match got it to really be a big deal. The Jordan/Angle/Steph/Triple H should have definitely closed the show.
With the “no contest” ending, I’m sure we’ll get another match between these two soon enough. I’m hopeful both men will offer up a better match next time around.
This was a really good go home show for one of the big four pay per views. I know as wrestling fans we criticize Vince and the writers quite often and sometimes rightfully so, but I feel we gotta gone credit to the writers/creative because “Survivor Series” has been put together beautifully these past few weeks keeping us invested and keeping us guessing with who’s going to competing as champions on Sunday.
RAW’S CHAMPIONS/WEEKLY TOP 10
BROCK LESNAR (WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPION) – Brock will be in for a good battle this Sunday as he faces the phenomenal one in a WrestleMania worthy clash. His match with AJ has the potential to be better then his match he had with CM Punk 4 years ago.
THE MIZ (WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION) – The A lister has done everything he can to build up his encounter with the Lone Wolf on Sunday. Heel vs Heel matches are always tricky to book but I imagine Miz will more then likely be the bigger heel here with Bo & Axel in his corner running interference.
ALEXA BLISS (RAW’S WOMEN CHAMPION) – Bliss has dominated the RAW’S women’s division since coming over in the shake up holding clean wins over Sasha, Bayley & Mickie. Her match with Charlotte on Sunday could possibly determine who the true face of the woman’s division is. It’s a great match up on paper which I’m sure will deliver in the ring too.
ENZO AMORE (WWE CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPION) – This certified G still has unfinished business with Kalisto. I suspect that he’ll retain on Sunday and move onto a different opponent starting next week
*THE BAR* SHEAMUS & CESARO (RAW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS) – These guys are back in the drivers seats as champs after coming up on the losing end for most of the past 5-6 weeks. They’ll face a very familiar Survivor Series foe in the Usos on Sunday
RAW’S TOP 10
1. BRAUN STROWMAN (Last Week’s Ranking: 1) – The monster among men continues to look dominate this week putting the big red machine through the ring this past Monday
2. KANE (Last Week’s Ranking: 2) – Kane failed to pick up s win over Strowman so he stays a spot behind
3. ROMAN REIGNS (Last Week’s Ranking – 3) – Thr big dog made his presence felt this week challenging The New Day on behalf of himself and the Shield and looked solid in victory in the six man tag match tonight
4. FINN BALOR (Last Week’s Ranking – 4) – Balor stays in the top 5 picking up the pin in his tag match tonight. One has to wonder if Bray Wyatt/Sister Abigail still has his eyes set on the demon king.
5. SAMOA JOE (Last Week’s Ranking – 5) Recruited to team RAW but otherwise directionless at the moment. With Cena on Team SD that could finally be the time where we things kick off in with Hoe/Cena in a much anticipated feud.
6. DEAN AMBROSE (Last Week’s Ranking: Not Ranked) – Dean and Seth are back on the winning track after losing their tag titles last week and are headed for an epic encounter this Sunday with the New Day
7. SETH ROLLINS (Last Week’s Ranking: Not Ranked) – See Dean Ambrose
8. JASON JORDAN (Last Week’s Ranking: Not Ranked) – Wasn’t a good week for the daddy’s little boy as he was replaced on TEAM RAW but I suspect he’ll be a big part of RAW going forward after the segments he had this week.
9. ASUKA (Last Week’s Ranking: 7) – Was fairly inactive this week outside of delivering a vicious kick.
10. SASHA BANKS (Last Week’s Ranking: 8 ) – She’s had a better month W/L wise then the likes of Bayley, Mickie and has been more active then Nia so she rounds out the top 10 for now.