We have arrived at the go-home episode of Raw for Survivor Series and I have enjoyed the build thus far. NXT being added to Survivor Series has added a fun wrinkle to the formula and has made it more interesting this year. The added part of Triple H trying to recruit former members of NXT adds intrigue to the build and makes me interested to see if anybody will defect. Let us jump right in and see what Raw had for us this week.
Becky Lynch In-Ring
Becky always delivers on the mic and this was another case of that. Becky came out and called out both Bayley and Shayna Baszler for a fight. She was cocky and confident that she could take on both women and then she was interrupted by the IIconics. I will continue to say how amazing those two are because they truly embody their characters and I can’t hate on that. They complained about being left off the Raw women’s team and Becky challenged them to a match. The IIconics were ready for a fight and Charlotte Flair came out as well. She told Becky that she wanted to get in on this fight and that match would happen after the commercial break. Samoa Joe’s music hit right before the commercial break and we all wondered why he came out and it was revealed after the commercial that he would join commentary for the night.
Charlotte & Becky vs The IIconics
This was a fun little match and that may surprise some that hate the IIconics. Peyton and Billie are one of the few true tag teams on the main roster right now that know how to work well together. IIconics looked strong in the beginning but the tide would quickly turn, and Charlotte would pick up the win for her team. Becky and Charlotte would leave the ring and Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir would storm the ring and beat down the IIconics. Becky and Charlotte ran back to the ring to take on the horsewomen, but the numbers were too much for them. The trio would leave through the crowd, but Becky and Charlotte went after them to get some more. Security would get in between them, and Becky didn’t like that, so she punched one of the members of security. Really fun opening segments to kick off Raw.
Ryder & Hawkins Backstage
I had totally forgotten that Ryder and Hawkins had a tag title opportunity this week until this interview segment happened backstage. They both talked about being ready for this match and AOP would finally appear on screen. They had a bit of a stare down and AOP would beat up both men. It looks like this may be the first series of matches for AOP on Raw before they turn their attention to a more credible threat.
Karl Anderson vs Humberto Carrillo
The OC cut a promo before this match and I just love the chemistry between all three men. AJ talking about how Humberto has disrespected him was great and they are ready to teach him a lesson. The Street Profits would end up coming down during this match to even the odds for Humberto and that would play in later in the match. This was a fun match and Humberto is really getting put into the spotlight. Back and forth action throughout and it looked like Anderson would pick up the win with the help of the OC, but the Street Profits would have something to say about that. They reversed the small package and that allowed Humberto to pick up the win. It would be revealed later in the night that Humberto earned a shot at the US title and I cannot wait for that match next week.
Seth Rollins Backstage
Seth’s promo game is nowhere near where it once was because they do feel copy and paste. He talked about how he had to put his spot up and it just felt very bland. More of the same stuff we hear from him and it was basically the typical Seth Rollins promo we have gotten since he became the top guy on Raw.
Bobby Lashley vs No Way Jose
I know everybody hates this Lana/Rusev/Lashley storyline, but I have liked it in the way I like certain reality tv shows. I know they aren’t the greatest tv shows but I just cannot help but be entertained. Lana talked about filing for divorce before this match and it wasn’t her best moment on the mic of late. She stumbled a bit and Lashley had to help her get back on track. Lana did her best to cover up her gaffe on the mic, but it wasn’t the smoothest of things. The match itself was pretty much a standard Lashley dominates match. Jose tried to muster up some offense, but it was only a matter of time before Lashley pulled out the win. Lashley and Lana then had an intense make out session in the ring and it almost looked like Lana’s dress would ride up and reveal everything underneath.
Seth Rollins vs Andrade
This was a darn good match and one that highlighted, once again, how good Andrade is in that ring. We all know how great Seth is, but we can sometimes forget how good Andrade is because his push starts and stops a bit of late. This match was everything and it had many great moments. It was refreshing to see Zelina get ejected and it left Andrade to try to win the match on his own. Really awesome stuff from both men and it looked like one would pick up with win, only for the other to kick out. I was rooting for Andrade here because it could have added to the story of Seth Rollins but that would not be the case as the Lucha House Party would invade from Smackdown to cause the disqualification. Andrade and Seth would clear the ring of the trio and I love how Seth gave Andrade some props after the match. This is a match that could totally be given 20-25 minutes and be an instant classic and you could tell that Seth loved working in the ring with Andrade.
Buddy Murphy Knocks
We have been waiting so long for someone to knock on Aleister’s door and this week we finally had someone do it. Sir Mitch, aka Buddy Murphy, knocked on the door but didn’t give Aleister enough time to answer if before leaving. He took off and Aleister was left wondering who knocked on his door. It is about time we had some advancement in the Aleister story, and this could lead to some great matches.
Triple H Arrives
Triple H arrived with his caravan and we all know what this means. NXT is ready to do some more invading and we will see how this all plays out later in the night.
Akira Tozawa vs Sir Mitch
I was blessed with yet another great match on this go-home episode of Raw and it was one that would fit right in on 205 Live. This was Akira first match on Raw and I honestly forgot he was on the red brand. We all know how good Mitch is when given a shot in the ring and it was no surprise how good this match was. There were plenty of callbacks to their previous matches with some spots and they still looked good in this one. So much back and forth action and it looked like Akira would pick up the win but that would not be the case. Mitch would end up picking up the win here, but this was a great showcase for Akira on the red brand. Mitch would go back to Aleister’s door after the match to knock and before he could play another game of ding-dong ditch, Aleister opened the door and we had a stare down between both men. Looks like this match will be coming sooner than later.
Erick Rowan vs Local Talent
Before this match, we had another shot from inside the cage of Rowan talking to whatever is inside of it. Still have no clue as to what this is leading to or what is inside the cage. This was your typical squash match that had Rowan pick up the win. The only reason this doesn’t earn a “SKIP!” is because of the Singh Bros coming down with R-Truth giving chase and Rowan would take out the brothers.
Randy Orton Backstage
Randy Orton was backstage, and he talked a bit about his success in traditional Survivor Series matches and how that will give Raw the edge on Sunday. He then moved on and talked about how the Viking Raiders need opponents for tonight. He said he was ready to fight them, and he had a partner in mind that would be willing to fight them. Seems pretty obvious that it will be Ricochet and it will be shocking if it wasn’t him.
Kevin Owens vs Drew McIntyre
There are absolutely no words that I could type that could do this match justice in describing it. This match was awesome on every level and one that simply got better and better with every minute. Right when it seemed the match couldn’t go into another gear, it found a way to hit another one. This was an amazing match that just shows you how good McIntyre and Owens are in the ring. The story was told perfectly, and the crowd ate all of it up. The only reason this doesn’t get a perfect score is because Triple H would come down to the ring before the match ended and that basically ended the match. That is the only bad thing I can say about this match.
Triple H & Kevin Owens In-Ring
Speaking of great storytelling, this was a masterclass in mic work by Triple H. We have gotten on Triple H’s case about his 20-minute promos, but this was a darn good one here. Triple H assured Owens that the members of the NXT roster that was outside the ring would not attack him. I love how Triple H was doing everything he could to talk Owens into rejoining NXT. He told Owens how he has been misused since leaving NXT and how he is the only one who knows how to use him properly. The best part about this is how Owens sold that he was considering everything Triple H was saying and how enticing his offer is. The Raw locker room would eventually come out and there would be a brawl on the outside. The Undisputed Era would then come out and attack Owens and I love how Triple H was mad at Adam Cole. Triple H sold it as “I almost had him” and that they shouldn’t have attacked him. This is really great storytelling and I doubt it will be the last we get of this story.
Paul Heyman Promo
Speaking of masterclass in mic work, Paul Heyman graced us with another lesson in the mic game. He started off by recapping the events of the Mysterio/Lesnar program and it was done so well. I honestly hope that Heyman is inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame some day because his speech will be legendary. He then moved on to talk about the Mysterio/Lesnar match on Sunday and said that a normal match just would not do. He said this had to be a no holds barred match and laid down the challenge for Rey. Rey would then appear after the Heyman promo and accept the challenge. Rey has been delivering some stellar mic work over the last few weeks and this was another great one. It is so very nice to have back-to-back segments of masterclass mic work.
Asuka vs Natalya
The match itself was fine but totally felt like filler before the main event slot. There is no doubting that both women can bring it in the ring, but it really did feel like filler. Solid ring work from both women and Asuka would end up picking up the victory. Asuka has been made to look rather strong of late and I am wondering if maybe she will be next in line to challenge Becky. The best part of this match was seeing Asuka and Kairi walk out to Asuka’s theme since this was a singles match and how perfect it fits the both of them. Ditch the horrible mashup and just use Asuka’s theme.
Randy Orton & Ricochet vs The Viking Raiders
As I mentioned earlier, it was rather obvious that Ricochet would be Orton’s partner and that ended up being the case. I love the story being told between Ricochet and Orton and it will most likely pick up even more after Survivor Series. The Viking Raiders have floundered a bit since becoming champions and it is nice to see them in a match against viable opponents. Really fun action throughout this match and they camera crew would cut to the back to show Smackdown invading once again. This would play out during the match as the Smackdown roster came down and caused the match to get thrown out. Orton, Ricochet and the Vikings would stand tall in the ring as NXT invaded and attacked the Smackdown roster members. NXT turned their attention to Orton; Ricochet and the Vikings as more NXT roster members came down to invade. Seth Rollins would lead the charge with members of the Raw roster, and it would be an all-out brawl to close Raw. Triple H would cut a promo at Gorilla and give an open invitation to Raw and Smackdown to come down to NXT and that will be a bunch of fun on Wednesday.
This was a darn good go-home episode of Raw and did a great job in setting up Survivor Series. Smackdown finally invaded and it added to the chaos of NXT’s invasion. The highlights had to be the Rollins/Andrade match, the Owens/McIntyre match and the in-ring segment between Owens and Triple H after the match. The Heyman promo was another highlight and so was the Rey promo right after. The closing segment was a ton of fun as well and Aleister Black looks to have finally found an opponent. The other real highlight was Samoa Joe on commentary. He is a natural at it and could do well there whenever he retires. The only real low points were the Rowan stuff and the Asuka/Natalya match. Overall, a darn good episode of Raw before Survivor Series and it did its job in exciting me for Sunday. Make sure you join us for a Dignified Discussion Saturday for War Games and Sunday for Survivor Series. I am Sovereign S.A.M. and make sure you join me next week for another Sovereign Statement.